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Erica Payne

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What Do We Do Next?

Posted: 08/02/11 06:11 PM ET

Pathetic.

That is the only word I can think of to describe the bungling political strategy that will conclude with half the Democrats in the House and most of the Democrats in the Senate voting for total capitulation. Otherwise known as 'The Debt Ceiling Deal,' Total Capitulation will be signed into law by the man who became president of the United States because millions of Americans believed he was tough enough to fight and smart enough to win.

Instead of 'audacity,' we got 'better than the alternative.'

Is avoiding default a good thing? Sure. But 'not as bad as it could have been' IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR THIS COUNTRY.

And what Washington doesn't want you to know is that it never should have gotten to this point.

We could have avoided this entire debacle -- and reduced the deficit -- and done it with our American values intact -- TEN MONTHS AGO. Instead, in a stunning display of inept political strategy, the president led Democrats to a budget deal during the lame duck session that extended the Bush tax cuts -- the SINGLE LARGEST CAUSE OF THE CURRENT FEDERAL DEFICIT -- including those on millionaires and billionaires. That decision set the stage for the disastrous debt ceiling debate we are now engaged in. Ten months ago, Democrats held the majority in both Houses of Congress and the Bush tax cuts were set to expire ON SCHEDULE at the end of the year -- given the make-up of the new Congress, that was the last moment that President Obama would have real political power. Knowing the debt ceiling was around the corner, and knowing he had more political power than he would have again, the president caved.

To add insult to injury, the millionaires who got tax cuts in that so-called compromise include half the members of the House and Senate, including 38 of the 60 members of the Tea Party Caucus (all millionaires).

Now the White House claims they underestimated the irrationality of the Tea-Party-controlled GOP. Kind of like underestimating a drooling pit bull who has chewed through his leash, don't you think?

We never underestimate leash-less, drooling, pit bulls.

And we never underestimate the power -- and the money -- of the other side.

More importantly, we know how to fight. As my grandmother used to say, 'one thing you can count on with Southern women -- they'll pull the trigger.' Damn right we will. We like to fight. And with the strength of our principles, we will keep on fighting -- through death threats and hate mails from angry conservatives, through outrage from Democrats who don't like being confronted for selling out their values to the highest bidder -- until politicians in Washington start working for regular Americans instead of for their campaign contributors.

At the Agenda Project we are willing to Throw Granny Off the Cliff if that's what it takes to show people what Paul Ryan's terrible budget will do to Medicare. We are willing to shut down the White House phone lines if that's what it takes to tell the President's team we are serious about raising taxes on people who make more than a million dollars a year.

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