TM NOTE: Texan4Hillary offers his perspective as a movement progressive activist.
Some Democrats do get it on issues, especially the New Deal. We have examples today from Harry Reid and others as you will see below. And we have a breaking new example of taking the Right to the mat, this time from Daily Kos, Blue America (Howie Klein, Crooks and Liars, and Digby), with help from Americans United for Change and Dan Manatt. A grassroots ad campaign has been launched attacking Republican Congressmen for their NoCare vote. Link to ActBlue on the effort.
Harry Reid knows how to talk about Social Security unlike his president these days. He was on Meet the Press a week ago. Watch and learn:
I am on Social Security Disability. Got on it at age 26 and I am 31 years-old now.
I am grateful to the progressive movement, the Democratic Party, FDR, LBJ and others who made sure a safety net was part of this country. The thought of a Democratic president wanting to carve up this program is beyond disgusting. It is plain immoral for Obama to entertain the idea.
One thing you won’t get from the transcript is the condescending smirk on Gregory’s face when he asks Reid if “the arithmetic on Social Security works.” Could there be any better metaphor for the elitism of the Washington press corps? Reid sticks to his guns though and leaves Gregory looking like the naÃƒÂ¯ve one. For those looking for tips on how to effectively argue against cuts, Reid’s remarks are an excellent template. Here is the breakdown of his talking points:
* There is no Social Security crisis. Social Security works and it is fully funded for the next 40 years
* Social Security did not contribute to the deficit, so it shouldn’t be cut in order to reduce the deficit. “Stop picking on Social Security!”
* Those who claim Social Security is in crisis just don’t like government programs.
* Raising the retirement age and means-testing are backdoor methods to whack Social Security recipients.
Unfortunately, Reid and a handful of DC Dems get it. Contrast Reid’s response to Washington’s revered conventional wisdom with those of scores of more “respectable,” establishment political figures”“most of them Democrats. For weeks now, we have seen a non-stop drumbeat for Social Security cuts from prominent politicians, and the media cheers them on.
In The Hill, Congressmen DeFazio and McDermott are slamming Obama today for his moves on cutting the New Deal up. Obama thinks he can get young people and upscale suburban voters to come out in ’12 with a deal on Social Security. Veteran Democrats such as these know that won’t work. Senator Sanders also this week told the president to back off the New Deal and why. It’s a must read.
Progressives are indeed fighting and are now funding a major ad campaign to call out Obama on cutting Social Security. Its the same organization that defeated Bush’s privatization scheme with damning ads years ago. More about them here and here.
Oh, and join the fight with hundreds of progressive organizations to protect the New Deal at www.StrengthenSocialSecurity.org.