Someone should write down clear guidelines for what it takes to get fired from high-ranking government positions because the rules seem a bit blurry.
The Obama administration on Monday reiterated its commitment to keeping former Sen. Alan Simpson as the co-chairman of the president's deficit commission even as the Wyoming Republican has come under heavy fire for his disparaging comments on Social Security.
You'll remember that Simpson called Social Security - the wildly popular program millions of older Americans rely upon for survival - "a milk cow with 310 million tits."
It's strange that the administration is defending a man who seems hellbent on slashing benefits while co-chairing Obama's Catfood Commission (this is hardly a slip of the tongue. Simpson has been bashing Social Security for quite a while.)
Furthermore, we know the administration certainly doesn't lack the propensity to fire officials when they say something controversial, or even in the case of Shirley Sherrod, are framed in order to give the impression they said something controversial. Conman and professional loudmouth, Andrew Breitbart, altered video to make it appear as though Sherrod made a racist comment when in fact she was doing exactly the opposite by explaining how she overcame her own bias in the spirit of helping a white farmer.
In the Sherrod case, the administration was so quick to give her the axe that they harassed her about resigning while she was driving. Obama and his inner cirle wouldn't even give the woman the courtesy of allowing her to park and get out of her car in order to defend herself.
But here is ol' Gibbers, defending crotchety Father Time in the spirit of "bipartisanship." In case any of you need a quick refresher: The Spirit of Bipartisanship now means letting the Republicans do whatever they want: shape health care reform, nix the universal healthcare option, the public option, hijack Congress with endless filibusters, and attempt to privatize Social Security, while any Democrat who dares look at Andrew Breitbart the wrong way will immediately be fired personally by Rahm Emanuel before he or she can exit the highway.
And in case anyone doubts that this is how TSB works these days, let's conduct a mental exercise. Pretend a Democrat - any Democrat - likened corporate tax breaks to greedy CEOs suckling on cow teats. In this scenario, not only is the simile architect from the wrong party, but the target of the insult is the elite business world. In TSB, Democrats are not permitted to take such aggressive ideological stances, and the individuals at the end of their barbs certainly cannot be the powerful corporatocracy. TSB only works if a Republican is the one making the disparaging statement, and the victims are powerless underlings such as old people (Social Security,) or the poor (See: numerous insults from Republicans regarding unemployment benefits).
The model is all the more nefarious because Republicans are not in power right now, and additionally the figurehead bolstering the parameters of debate is the president, a Democrat, who dresses up the double standard as him being somehow politically transcendent. The Simpson-Sherrod contrast is a good example of Obama's TSB failure, and why it's a perfect recipe for how to disenfranchise his base, and lose Congressional seats.