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Reply #147


Response to The Wizard (Reply #112)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 08:21 PM

147. Oh, you're definitely not alone

Last edited Tue Nov 13, 2012, 09:33 PM - Edit history (1)

My entire DEMOCRATIC family agrees with what you say, and I will segue this discussion further for those Democrats above who feign surprise, and just don't understand what Kentuck is talking about. Last year, as a result of Obama's Grand Bargain negotiations, he was willing to sign a Bill that would have raised the eligibility age of Medicare to 67. That of course would automatically raise the retirement age as well. Fortunately for ALL of us, the deal fell through thanks to Boehner. Fucking Boehner of all people stopped it from happening. Now imagine if Obama was successful in these negotiations and he raised the retirement age. Do you think he would have been re-elected last week? I think we're all lucky Grand Bargain I fell through or we would be looking at President Romney today.

A few of you ask why we're still worried. It's because Grand Bargain II is permeating our airwaves as I type this response, and all we hear from the Obama administration, again, are the words "compromise & sacrifice." We heard Clinton praise the Simpson Bowles Commission at the Democratic Convention. We heard Biden praise the Commission. We even heard Obama praise the Commission. The very same Catfood Commission that recommended we raise the eligibility age for Medicare.

To illustrate even further just how pissed off many liberals are with Obama, consider this discussion recently between Cornell West, Tavis Smiley & Amy Goodman:

AMY GOODMAN: And yet, you have the whole discussion now about the bipartisan consensus. Republican House Speaker John Boehner told newly re-elected President Obama he wants to see Obama succeed.

TAVIS SMILEY: Yeah, I—I appreciate the sentiment. But their words, at the moment, we will see what kind of truth there is, what kind of authenticity there is behind those words, when the president, now back in Washington, sits down Republicans to deal with that word that I hate—sequestration—when we start dealing with these cuts that are on the table. We’ve said many times that budgets are moral documents. Budgets are moral documents. When they get into the weeds about these numbers and about the budget priorities, we will see how strong that sentiment comes through.

CORNEL WEST: Absolutely. Yeah, my spontaneous response is, if I believe those words, I’m the flying nun of Eskimo origin. But everything’s possible.

TAVIS SMILEY: There’s always hope.

CORNEL WEST: Everything’s possible.

CORNEL WEST: I’m a Christian. Everything’s possible.

AMY GOODMAN: The crackdown happens from the beginning. The discussion is all about how far right do you go. And groups who are concerned about issues like poverty, issues of social justice, are being told, "You’re going to be lucky—you just have to be quiet right now, because we are talking about these massive cuts."

CORNEL WEST: Yeah, don’t do it.

AMY GOODMAN: "Do not undercut the president."

TAVIS SMILEY: Well, they—that’s the same thing we heard the first term. And we see where we are now. And we—part of the reason why the race was as close as it was, getting down to the wire, is because too often in the first term, the president compromised, capitulated, caved, and oftentimes negotiate against himself with Republicans. And so, I hope that we’ve learned a lesson—that he’s learned a lesson, the White House has learned a lesson, from the first administration, that sometimes you’ve got to draw a line in the sand. And as my grandfather said, there’s some fights that ain’t worth fighting even if you win, but there are other fights you have to fight even if you lose. So I would love this notion of bipartisanship to come to the fore in Washington, but if that doesn’t happen, the president has to stand on a—on some immutable principles and try to advance the conversation.

AMY GOODMAN: Maybe it’s the bipartisan consensus that’s the problem in Washington, not the gridlock, right? I mean, the bipartisan consensus—

CORNEL WEST: That’s right.

AMY GOODMAN: —you see reflected in the presidential debates. There’s no debate over drones.

CORNEL WEST: That’s right.

AMY GOODMAN: There’s no discussion of poverty, absolutely no mention of climate change. And yet, does this represent the majority of people in this country? Hardly, I think this election shows.

CORNEL WEST: Not at all. Not at all. You got the far right, and then you’ve got the center-right—the Republican Party, Democratic Party. And without no one who’s really progressive on the left telling the truth about the suffering. But, you know, the truth is, is that, you know, if 40 percent of white babies were going to bed every night either starving or not having enough to eat, it would be a different discussion. And each baby has the same value, but we’ve got 40 percent of the babies of color who are going to bed without, and we’re told to be silent and somehow capitulate to a debate about deficit, when we know we need massive investment for jobs with a living wage, massive investment for public housing, massive investment for public education, and we’re getting privatization on each front? There’s no way we’re going to be silent. You would have to crush us to the earth and introduce us to the worms before we’re going to be silent.

(The entire discussion began with this incredible exchange)

CORNEL WEST: Well, one, I think that it’s morally obscene and spiritually profane to spend $6 billion on an election, $2 billion on a presidential election, and not have any serious discussion—poverty, trade unions being pushed against the wall dealing with stagnating and declining wages when profits are still up and the 1 percent are doing very well, no talk about drones dropping bombs on innocent people. So we end up with such a narrow, truncated political discourse, as the major problems—ecological catastrophe, climate change, global warming. So it’s very sad. I mean, I’m glad there was not a right-wing takeover, but we end up with a Republican, a Rockefeller Republican in blackface, with Barack Obama, so that our struggle with regard to poverty intensifies.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s a pretty rough assessment of President Obama.

CORNEL WEST: Oh, that’s what we have. That’s what we have. Richard Nixon is to the left of him on healthcare. Richard Nixon is to the left of him on guaranteed income. And the same policies in terms of imperial foreign policy is at work. And so, I was glad to see that Romney didn’t win. We pushed back a right-wing takeover. We’ve got a right-wing mentality: cut, cut, cut, austerity, austerity, austerity. Where is the serious talk about investment in jobs, fighting the privatizing of education, and the empowerment of trade unions? And so, our battle is just beginning. We have yet to take off the gloves. You know, we’ve been fighting intensely.

AMY GOODMAN: President Obama said to Harry Belafonte, according to Harry, "Why don’t you and Cornel West cut me some slack?" And Cornel—and Harry Belafonte responded, "What makes you think we’re not?"


http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2012/11/9/part_2_tavis_smiley_and_dr_cornel_west_on


If you don't know about these rumblings within our own party, you're clearly not paying attention.

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