Tag Archive: Third way

Mar 03 2015

How to Lose an Election Without Really Trying

The Hill reported on Monday that centrist Democrats were preparing to fight the “Elizabeth Warren wing” of the party fearing that a shift to the left would lead to greater losses in 2016.

The New Democrat Coalition (NDC), a caucus of moderate Democrats in the House, plans to unveil an economic policy platform as soon as this week in an attempt to chart a different course.

“I have great respect for Sen. Warren – she’s a tremendous leader,” said Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.), one of the members working on the policy proposal. “My own preference is to create a message without bashing businesses or workers, [the latter of which] happens on the other side.”

Peters said that, if Democrats are going to win back the House and Senate, “it’s going to be through the work of the New Democrat Coalition.”

“To the extent that Republicans beat up on workers and Democrats beat up on employers – I’m not sure that offers voters much of a vision,” Peters said.

Warren’s rapid ascent has highlighted growing tensions in the Democratic Party about its identity in the post-Obama era. [..]

Leaders at three centrist groups – the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), the New Democrat Network (NDN) and Third Way – arranged a series of meetings with moderates after the disastrous midterm elections to “discuss the future of the party,” according to a source close to the NDC.

The laughable part in that article is thinking that Barack Obama’s election in 2008 brought about a shift to the left in Democratic caucus was bad for the party:

One sign of the shift is the decline of the Blue Dog Coalition, a once-sizable bloc of conservative Democrats that is nearly extinct. More than two-dozen of its members were ousted from office in 2010.

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), who is viewed as a centrist, said the centrist strain of politician is declining and estimated that “there’s fewer than 100” left in Congress.

“We need more moderates and centrists in both parties,” Carper said. “Part of politics is the art of compromise.”

The problem with that thinking is that it was centrist/right wing/Blue Dog policies that lost the Democrats the House in 2010 and this year the Senate. You can’t compromise with the right wing fundamentalists who are dominating the GOP. That lesson should have been learned during the debt ceiling fight in 2011 when Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) bragged that he got 98% of what he wanted. That’s not compromise, that’s caving. House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) got the message and held the Democratic caucus together during last week’s battle to pass a clean funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security. Today that clean bill passed.

Third Way and “Fix the Debt” Democrats are nothing more that tools of Wall Street and billionaire Pete Peterson who founded and funds Third Way and commissions like Pres. Obama’s Cat Food Commission (that the Democratic congress refused to form) that was nothing more than a cover for destroying Social Security and what is left of the social safety net. None of that is centrist, it is pure corporate right wing ideology. Now they’re back and want the left to shut up, especially Sen. Warren.

As Richard Eskow so pointedly notes Democrats in 2010 and 2014 ran on those centrist policies and lost. Now they want to do it again in 2016. That’s not just insanity, it’s political suicide.

Shout louder, Sen. Warren. Somebody has to keep this country on a better path.

Nov 16 2012

Warning: Swallowing the President’s Bitter Pills May Cause Harsh Austerity

We are being told that the mess this President caused when he helped pass the Bush tax cuts in exchange for 1 year of unemployment insurance – which was unnecessary because Republicans caved on UE extension before – WITHOUT even securing a rise in the debt ceiling by putting his full trust in John Boehner with the full faith and credit of the US. This of course gave Boehner immense political power and the right hostage needed to cause the debt ceiling debacle just like I predicted. Well here are are again dealing with the fallout.

Already? Obama Tells Supporters to Expect ‘Bitter Pills’

As the Huffington Post, who listened in on the call, reports:

The president, speaking from a White House phone, cautioned listeners to expect disappointments during his second term. As he has in the past, Obama warned that he was prepared to swallow some bitter pills during the negotiations, including some that would agitate the base.

“As we move forward there are going to be new wrinkles and new frustrations, we can’t predict them yet,” he said. “We are going to have some triumphs and some successes, but there are going to be some tough days, starting with some of these negotiations around the fiscal cliff that you probably read about.”

Though his encouragement to his activist base may be encouraging to some, the President’s preemptive admission that he’s willing to give away bargaining chips so early in the game will surely irk those who criticized Obama for his negotiating style throughout his first term. That will be doubly true for progressives who have publicly called for a more hardline stance when it comes to defending key social programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

We know from the president’s interview with the Des Moines register that much of what was in the memo revealed by Bob Woodward as part and parcel of all of this nonsense we shouldn’t even have to be dealing with in the first place is a starting point. Oh yes, many will screech about how Simpson Bowles is dead because the commission was a failure, but the horrible ideas live on through our elected leaders that keeps bringing them back to life.

Obama vows debt-cutting ‘grand bargain,’ immigration reform in Des Moines Register interview

“I am absolutely confident that we can get what is the equivalent of the grand bargain that essentially I’ve been offering to the Republicans for a very long time, which is $2.50 worth of cuts for every dollar in spending, and work to reduce the costs of our health care programs,” Obama said. (The White House quickly clarified that he meant $2.50 of spending cuts for every dollar in new tax revenue.)

We can easily meet-‘easily’ is the wrong word-we can credibly meet the target that the Bowles-Simpson Commission established of $4 trillion in deficit reduction, and even more in the out-years …

This is not going to help the unemployed and it’s economic illiteracy. When you hear things like, “We all agree we must pay down the deficit,” it might as well be, “We all agree on economic illiteracy. Come on. Everybody’s doing it.”  Anyone who is still making excuses for this doesn’t even understand why this fake fiscal cliff, really an austerity bomb as Brian Beutler of TPM puts it, is coming back up in the first place.

“The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past.” – William Faulkner

This is quite literally true so for all those “that was then this is now” excuse makers, you have a lot of studying and reading to do.