07/31/2011 05:53 pm ET | Updated Sep 30, 2011

Fire Them When You See the Whites of Their Flags

The principle of not negotiating with terrorists, especially when it involves the essential functioning of our democracy, is as important as the incessantly and sanctimoniously invoked "full faith and credit of the United States."

The Democrats should not be making the deal they are reportedly about to make. They should, on principle, reject anything but a clean, bipartisan, pro-forma bill to raise the debt ceiling.

They should try to preserve a vestigial identity as Democrats and vote down the horrible Tea Party ransom demands. After that vote, before the dreaded default, the president should move immediately according to the power given him in the 14th Amendment to authorize borrowing sufficient funds to pay the debts that Congress has already incurred. TweedleDumbs and TweedleDems can fight out the battle for the soul of the nation -- shared sacrifice versus "job creating" tax breaks for the rich -- in the next election. And perhaps there will even be leadership on the actual left: a Progressive Party. The basic question for all elections should again be "Which side are you on," not "How can I appeal to the presumed center over on the right?" Even stupid people are beginning to understand what "Which side are you on?" means, and the rest, even the "Government-keep-your-hands-off-my- Medicare" morons, can perhaps be taught in time to save the democracy, if not the planet.

My pledge: I will never vote again for anyone who agrees to a debt ceiling bill "compromise" that includes cuts for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and all the other essential programs that make us a decent country and that does not include an end to the coasting privilege of the vile rich and their multinational corporations, an end to the bloat and waste in defense spending, an end to the 2 billion a week our Escalator-in-Chief is still spending in the quixotic dream of making Afghanistan a better place to live.

Do not do this terrible thing.