The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Lemmings Have Nothing On Democrats

So, in addition to screwing up healthcare and escalating in Afghanistan, it seems that Obama is set to appoint a deficit reduction panel.  Their job will be to come up with a “bipartisan” way of cutting the deficit by cutting Medicare and Social Security.  There is no other way to cut the deficit, because the only other large bucket of money, the defense budget, is off the table, and no one is willing to radically raise taxes on the rich.

Despite being called “bipartisan”, cutting Social Security and Medicare will take place under a Democratic President, though probably not a Democratic Congress (since the vote will occur after the 2010 elections.)  The Republicans will allow just enough members to vote to get it through, then will run, as a party, blaming Democrats for gutting SS and Medicare.

And people thought my piece yesterday yesterday predicting electoral carnage in 2010 and 2012 was overwrought?

Excuse me while I take time out to laugh.

(Update: I meant Congress, not Senate.  I don’t see the Dems losing the Senate in 2012, I do see them losing the House.  Oops.)


An optimist and a damned fool are the same thing


A Smart Proposal From Volcker and Obama


  1. John B.

    Enact real health care reform (single payer) or one that includes at a minimum a public option, raise the taxes on the wealthy to Reagan or Clinton levels, raise taxes on inherited wealth and on corporations, and cut the Pentagon budget by 1/3rd, while ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Investigate and prosecute the Bush/Cheney war crimes, roll back the expanding surveillance state, and enact real election reform.

    Do these things, and perhaps we might have a chance.

  2. gtash

    The Democrats have decided on unilateral withdrawal from governing.

  3. Gtash, both parties have decided to withdraw from governing. The GOP decided to stop governing in 1994 when Gingrich developed his ‘no’ strategy. The Democrats decided to stop governing when they chose to roll over and play dead when confronted with Republican obstructionism. America has been effectively ungoverned since 1994. What little ‘government’ has happened since then has been very little more than cash giveaways to the politically connected.

    It’s not clear that there is a way forward from here. It’s equally unlikely for the GOP to ditch its teabaggers, for the Democrats to grow a spine (e.g. by abolishing the Senate filibuster), and for the Sun to turn into a supernova tomorrow morning at 9am.

    There is no cure for a declining empire.

  4. Lex

    No, there is a cure for a declining empire: give it up freely and move on. Destruction comes from attempting to hold onto empire after a nation’s time is up.

    For all i care, the Democratic Party can run off the edge of any cliff it wants to; what i don’t understand is why they insist on dragging me along with them.

  5. gtash

    It could be worse.

    We could have Bi-partisan Kabuki Co-operation and Partisan Kabuki Competition.

  6. anonymous

    You confuse wolves in sheep’s clothing with lemmings. There’s a big difference. The only lemmngs are the voters, who are about to get turned into wolf chow.

  7. BDBlue

    I’m quickly coming to the realization that Obama is worse than Reagan. Fan-tastic.

  8. Tim McGovern

    Curmudgeon, I disagree. The GOP never decided to stop governing, they just decided to stop putting a veneer on their slash n burn tactics. They bought/scared off the refs, so they knew they could play dirty.

    Just like healthcare, where the GOP said “GRANDMA IS DEAD AND YOU ARE NEXT!!@!” v. Dem “public option…?”, the Dem response of ‘Senate rules, ermm, filibuster, umm, plz can I haz some seats?” isn’t gonna work, again.

  9. Ian:
    Given the structure of the Commission, at least that I read, do you really think it will accomplish anything? Don’t they need like 75% of the group to agree to anything to even send it to the House and Senate?

  10. Tim McGovern, I wouldn’t call GOP behavior since 1994 ‘governing’ but rather looting.

    Governance requires more than passing legislation that benefits your cronies.

  11. Formerly T-Bear

    History provides a curious parallel to today’s events.

    When Alphonso XIII abdicated in Spain, the subsequent “Republic” to attempt governance met with the same situation; thwarted, blocked, uncooperative obstinacy of the “opposition” leading and lending to discord in the “Republican” (governance) coalition (failed bipartisanship). That discord produced a failed parliament and opened the doors to “Nationalist” (conservative) control of government. This coalition (Nationalist) had no intention of republican governance and produced still another election which after the abdication of governance, resulted in another “liberal republican” return to political power. This final republican government was met with a military rebellion when the ability of the republican governance became impossible politically. The military revolt was eventually commandeered by Gen. Francisco Franco (who by latest report is still dead).

    Paul Preston’s “The Spanish Civil War – Reaction, Revolution & Revenge” (ISBN 978-0-00-723207-9) should be read paying attention to the lead up to the Franco dictatorship. It is the path of events today, history portending the future, if anybody might be interested. Spain endured the tragedy, the repeat is (deadly) farce.

  12. Ian Welsh


    you may be right. But just as some Republicans negotiated with Dems on the health care bill, then those exact same Pubs turned around and voted against it, I think they’ll manage.

    I do think, however, that Dem Congresscritters may revolt at whatever the reccomendations are. They’re heading towards much sweat fear time.

  13. marku

    Breaking news: Democratic Party disbands and goes home.

    What a bunch of pathetic bed-wetters. Found this in comments at open left:

    “Republicans are assholes, Democrats are idiots. Douchebaggery and incompetence, the two pillars of our legislative process.”

    I feel so sorry for our country.

  14. tjfxh

    Game over for US. It’s all moot now. SCOTUS has removed all limits on corporate campaign funding. If you are young and able, consider emigrating. The future here is bleak unless you are a member of the elite, or one of its cronies or camp followers.

  15. BC Nurse Prof

    Yes, leave. It’s over. We lost. Can anything be salvaged? Not in my (over 60) lifetime. Do you really have some kind of attachment to a country that has allowed this to happen? What are “countries” anyway? Arbitrary lines on a map that will soon be changed by coastal innundation. The “perfect storm” has arrived. Yes, the analogy to Spain is apt, but now there is financial destruction (most likely planned), climate change, over-population, peak oil, peak fish, peak water, etc. etc.

    Don’t let them tell you’re “chicken” for “running away.” My Irish ancestors left and didn’t look back. It’s time to go.

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