02/22/2011 03:37 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Cowards in Congress: Do They Have No Shame?

The next time you hear the word "bipartisan," think coward. If no one notices, word substitution can be a very effective persuasion device. Someone says to you, "You're stubborn," and you reply, "I am persistent." It's a useful technique and can be a respectable one -- but not when used to manipulate and lie to the American people.

It's clever. You have to give those touting bipartisanship credit. After all who -- especially liberals -- can be against cooperation and working together? Isn't there supposed to be something wrong with people who debate and argue when they could cooperate?

Yet, it doesn't take a genius to see that the country is being sold to the wealthiest of the conservatives. What's so admirable about cooperating with that?

PBS commentators Mark Shields and David Brooks were in agreement Friday about one thing: The Democrats and the president have certainly been far from bold. They've failed to seize "the Sputnik moment," as Shields put it. To which Brooks added: "The fierce urgency of now turned into the fierce urgency of whenever."

Women's reproductive rights are on the chopping block, governors are lining up to abolish labor's ability to negotiate working conditions, corporations have obtained the rights of private citizens, and the ultra-wealthy have gotten a cheap deal on two more years of low tax rates. Now the same crowd is turning up the volume on its crude pitch that trying to protect Social Security for current and future generations is somehow selfish -- that those protecting it are stealing from future generations.

You have to wonder if the Democrats have no shame. Few of them seem to have any guts. Why aren't they shouting that the deficit was largely created by the GWB administration? Therefore Republicans should be cleaning up the mess before we start impoverishing future retirees?

Here's an option. All Republicans and Democrats in favor of cutting Social Security should first renounce all their federal retirement benefits. That should save taxpayers a bundle. And it would put the onus of one part of deficit reduction on the backs of the people who really deserve it.

How about the Democratic Party demanding that? But they can't seem get a word in edgewise around the likes of Palin, Limbaugh and Beck. Do they lack a repertoire of effective responses? Are they left with little or nothing to say, even in the face of overt hypocrisy? Perhaps the Democrats aren't colorful enough for us to listen to them -- perhaps they're actually just boring people.

Nah. I'm going to go with chicken. Too many of them lack the courage of their convictions.

They blustered in the heady days before Obama was elected. It was compelling -- briefly. Now most act like cowards, feathering their own nests and those of their Republican buddies.

At a time when the world is riveted by the courage of protesters, our so-called leaders are giving away the farm that generations of working Americans purchased with their own blood and treasure. Tell me how that makes them anything other than cowards? Where's the voice we gave them with our votes? Where's their rage? Where's their indignation?

Kathleen also blogs at Comebacks at Work and is on Twitter @comebackskid