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Obama's speech angered me. I have done an about face on politicians since 2003. [View All]

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-11-11 12:45 PM
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Obama's speech angered me. I have done an about face on politicians since 2003.
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Edited on Mon Jul-11-11 12:55 PM by madfloridian
Why did I pick 2003? That's the year hubby and I first became involved politically. I actually believed in and trusted a politician. We spent a lot of money thinking we could actually make a difference.

I have since learned better.

Today's speech was politics, pure and simple. It had no heart. There is no excuse for the stress our own party is putting on seniors by including benefit cuts in Social Security and Medicare.

Either they don't realize the harm being done by implying that these programs should be "shared sacrifices"....implying they are equal to the harm corporations have done in this country....or they just plain don't care.

And if they don't care, that means they don't care about the votes that might be lost by taking such implausible positions. (Please note: I am not saying I will not support Democrats) Have they thought about how it looks to seniors in both parties for a Democratic president to so eagerly put these programs on the bargaining table? I think not. He could get a lot more points for defending them whole-heartedly.

It's all a big game to our party now. The centrist think tanks have joined the right wing in pretty much completely damaging the word "liberal", which they use to refer to all of us who question their policies. Their policies are stealthily moving right, and we are supposed to pretend we don't notice.

The think tanks are changing their names, but their policies have remained the same. The head of the Third Way brags of leading an anti-Social Security group in the 90s.

From blog archives, about 1994, though no date is given...there is a scathing review of Jon Cowan who helped start the war between the generations over Social Security. He is now the same Jonathan Cowan who is president of the Third Way which is the new policy shop for Democrats. He appears to have the ear of the president.

Here are some comments from that long ago blog post. It appears Cowan and his buddies have managed to make seniors appears to be greedy old coots. It started in the early 90s with his group called Lead or Leave.

Lead or Leave, and the Sell-out of my generation

Handsome Strangers

Nobody knows where they came from. From out of the TV sets of America, in the summer of 1992, a couple of goofy white guys in T-shirts rode down on the hearts and minds of a nation.

They came not with a message, but with a sound-bite. They carried cellular phones rather than revolvers. And their bandoleers were stuffed not with bullets -- but with money. Lots of money.

They called themselves "Lead...or Leave." The sum total of their wisdom could be reduced to a phrase or two. "Generation X has a problem," they said, "and that problem is the national debt. We gotta cut social spending... and cut it right quick. Or there'll be a revolution of angry young taxpayers. You Greedy Geezers better take notice. Your days are numbered."


Just a little more about how such "grassroots" groups arose even back then. The blogger points out that "Two guys who moved in some pretty powerful circles in Washington. These two guys just woke up one day and decided to found a "grassroots" organization? I don't think so."

Anything they do or participate in gets trumpeted by their PR machine to the high heavens. And when I say PR machine, I mean machine. From the beginning, Lead or Leave retained the services of public relations firms. In the early days it was a company called Fenton Communications. Now it's a group called Millennium. These services are not cheap, which is why most actual grassroots organizations can rarely afford the price of such manipulators of the American conscience. Lead or Leave put them to good use. They have appeared all over the network media, radio, and print as "spokesmen" for young Americans. Anything they say, no matter how outlandish or unsubstantiated, has been faithfully reproduced from coast to coast.


The blogger points out that the group leaders Cowan and Nelson were obviously part of a bigger picture. He goes on to point out some of the funders, big money people who do not care for Social Security.

Many of the ideas that permeate Lead or Leave's literature can also be found in the literature of the Concord Coalition, to whom their direct ties are numerous. Concord members on their advisory board include Richard Dennis (who is a major funder of libertarian causes), Clyde V. Prestowitz, Jr., and Paul Tsongas. Pete Peterson, a Concord Coalition founder, though not a Lead or Leave board member, is doubtless much enamored of them. Cowan and Nelson certainly mention him and his organization constantly in their work. And the Concord Coalition's World Wide Web site on the Internet is linked directly to Lead or Leave's new site. It seems obvious that there is more than a casual connection between the two groups.


Now Jon Cowan's voice is being heard even more loudly. The president's words today echoed these sentiments of shared sacrifice and the meme of everyone has to hurt.

All they have done through the years is change the name of the groups involved. The goals appear to have been reached.


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