[Briefly: Hooray for an Election Day that delivered some genuine victories for liberals and progressives, with: 1) a lot of very important local issues breaking the way I hoped they would (California propositions, local races, etc.); 2) some defining cultural/social issues being resolved in a few states in favor of equality (marriage rights) and sanity (moving away from the failed Drug War); and 3) a fairly sweeping national rejection of the Republican brand, which, though badly damaged by the Bush/Cheney years, was really done in by the GOP’s outrageously shameful conduct during the Obama era, including the party’s near-total capitulation to its most bigoted and extreme, “You lie!” raging, partisan id. This hate-pandering to “paleoconservatives” explains why the GOP fared so very poorly among women and minority voters in 2012 and so decisively lost the race for president as well as key senate races. As Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (SC) recently observed, “We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business” …though it’s certainly not for want of trying (I’m frankly elated to see this vile strategy fail; America is truly better off for the GOP’s bruising defeat yesterday — only that doesn’t necessarily help us on the policy front, where the two parties largely agree. The devil’s name invoked, let’s proceed to business…]
Limp, quack-quack, and slash, slash, slash…
A LAME DUCK CONGRESS (and stealth radical-conservative president) IS COMING A-SLASHING FOR ENTITLEMENTS… RIGHT NOW. This is no conspiracy theory, but a well-telegraphed and much ballyhooed (if quietly, in coded language), long-orchestrated event: the “grown-ups” in Washington are going to do what it takes to “balance the budget.” Of course, balancing the budget is not Job 1 in the world of actual grown-ups (who know something about economics, anyway); Debt Reduction should follow Job Creation (the real Job 1, as Americans well know) and also Campaign Finance Reform/Democracy Restoration (Job 2 in my book, accomplished with a strong public campaign finance system along the lines Lawrence Lessig has suggested). It should also be noted that the establishment’s entitlement-slashing austerity will only shrink the economy while shifting increased healthcare and living expenses onto the populace (while preserving billions of dollars in corporate welfare and tax preferences for the rich — partisan gridlock is a sham, and here comes the proof, “The Great Betrayal,” as William Black has described it).
NOW IS THE TIME FOR ALL PATRIOTS TO RESIST AUSTERITY! (And put a stake through its demon heart, to make doubly sure it won’t return.) However, I can see only one way we can accomplish this feat (and the path is a gnarly and unlikely one): joint mobilization of the grass-roots, right and left, working in coordination: NOW.
It’s time to put our differences aside and offer every olive branch on the ranch to the other side. The establishment bastards are coming for Medicare and Social Security, RIGHT NOW, and together we’ve got to stop them. If for no other reason than because they’re doing so under cover of darkness (or trying to, anyway) in clear contravention of the wishes of the vast majority of the public, spanning America’s political center, left, and right. We just reelected 90% of a body that we approve of, per polls, only 10% — the least we can do now is stop these clowns before they sabotage our most successful remaining government institutions (they’ve already sandbagged the USPS and waged an all-out assault on public education, but that was just the warm-up act).
H O W T O W I N :
We need to get the heart of the Ron Paul right — and the people who initially came out for the Tea Party in 2009 (before they were co-opted by the Koch brothers and the Republican establishment) — to make common cause with the core of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Organized labor needs to jump in, too, behind a national unifying call to: PROTECT SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE FROM WASHINGTON TODAY!
As in RIGHT NOW. Unless we act immediately, this lame duck session will almost certainly see entitlements slashed (for no good reason, and in particularly regressive ways). Cenk Uygur knows it. Glenn Greenwald has warned us. Senator Bernie Sanders (VT) has been increasingly sounding the alarm (and 28 Democrats have co-signed his letter to President Obama, asking in vain for the President’s commitment to defend entitlements).
NOW is the time to do as Mr. Obama has often counseled us: it’s time to make him do the right thing and PROTECT SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE from the obscene recommendations of Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles (two austerity-hawking corporatists who propose that we balance the national budget on the backs of the middle class and poor, leaving the plutocrats untouched).
I suspect that only a massive and mobilized (phone-calling, letter-writing, rally-organizing) and non-ideological coalition can accomplish this task. I know that many of you just organized, but, folks, it’s time to re-organize (this is why most of you organized in the first place, to prevent precisely what’s about to happen to Social Security and Medicare!). ACT NOW. And remember that civilization requires civility. Bridge that divide (lest we be conquered).