Is fiscal responsibility good if it creates a filibuster proof commission with the final say on cuts to Medicare and Social Security?
It seems that a dozen Conservadems think so and signed a letter supporting the creation of a fiscal responsibility board.
...it would create budget legislation, including deep cuts to Social Security and Medicare. As Conrad has written the proposal, the Senate could only have simple majority (upperdown) votes on this legislation--no filibusters. It would hand over a huge amount of Congressional authority to an unelected, unaccountable commission, all in the name of "fiscal responsibility." Sadly, a dozen Democrats signed onto a letter to Harry Reid yesterday, stressing their concern over deficits.
(Courtesy of mcjoan)
What about fiscal responsibility for 30 billion dollars a year for the 30,000 new troops to Afghanistan?
I remember when Rachel Maddow called out the group of Conservadems and a lot of people thought she was going overboard.
But, true to their word, and as Ms. Maddow predicted, these Conservadems are doing a 'heckuva' job to promote Republican values from the Democratic side of the aisle.
Now, I don't know about you, but signing onto this commission can only be considered an early Christmas gift to the Republicans. Remember all those attempts to privatize Social Security by Bush and all the talk of how it will be bankrupt by 2020?
Well, this commission will go a long way towards helping that happen even faster.
And it will be done through a process similar to reconciliation - only a simple majority- 51 votes and no filibuster. Mind you, if Reid even thinks about using reconciliation to pass a strong health care bill, the Republicans will start screaming 'nuclear option' and about how undemocratic the Democrats are.
My own state, Colorado, has not one, but two of the Conservadems. Let's take a look.
First - Mark Udall. As a representative, you were a progressive champion - especially on environmental issues, but as of late, you have been signing letters of support for natural gas and nuclear energy. Even worse, now you are signing letters of support for Republican ideas - along with such great progressive voices as Joe Lieberman, Arlen Specter and Kent Conrad. (Hint - which one of these is really a Republican? If you answered 'maybe all of them,' then you got it right.)
Now on to Michael Bennet. Senator Bennet, signing this letter is clearly a pattern. First, you voted against cramdown, which would have allowed judges to modify mortgage rates for people in danger of losing their homes, because people losing their homes is more fiscally responsible, I suppose.
Next Senator Bennet joined up with Republicans to oppose a bill to regulate and reform Wall Street.
This makes no sense at a time when Wall Street has been receiving bailout money with no oversight, and bonuses are actually going up for Wall Street CEOs at a time when the country is on the verge of 10 percent unemployment. Wall Street 'fat cats' are very unpopular - so why would Bennet do this?
Bennet raised more than $400,000 from Wall Street firms in the first half of the year, more than all but four other senators.
Now you are signing a letter that would make a commission that has budget authority over Medicare and Social Security.
What to do? There is a thing in our political world called a primary. Michael Bennet has a capable and electable primary opponent in Andrew Romanoff. And Romanoff is not missing these golden opportunities to point out these 'stands' Senator Bennet has been taking for Wall Street.
"What did somebody once say? 'You dance with them that brung ya,'" said Andrew Romanoff, the former Colorado House speaker who is challenging Bennet in the 2010 Democratic primary.
"That's the way that Washington works. When members of Congress spend too much time trolling for dollars on Wall Street, they inevitably lose touch with people on Main Street," said Romanoff, who said he supports the key provisions of Dodd's bill.
I agree, and a successful primary challenge against the likes of the Michael Bennets or the Arlen Specters of our party might make our other senators like Mark Udall or Evan Bayh take notice of whom they really represent and which party they belong to.
Same for Joe Sestak.
More Democrats first, and then, better Democrats.