As McConnell and Boehner make their picks for the Super Congress, Pres. Obama must survey the land he helped create, while Democrats swallow hard that they’ve lost any chance to change the economic narrative and aid the working class.
The President is not a progressive – he is not what Americans still call a “liberal.” He is a willful player in an epic drama of faux-politics, an operative for the money power, whose job is to neutralize the left with fear and distraction and then to pivot rightward and deliver a conservative result. What Barack Obama got from the debt deal was exactly what his sponsors have wanted: a long-term lock-in of domestic spending cuts, and a path toward severe cuts in the core New Deal and Great Society insurance programs – Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. And, of course, no tax increases at all. [...] Unlike say Lyndon B. Johnson or Jimmy Carter, when his term ends he won’t be able simply to go home. He’ll need a big house in a gated suburb, with high walls and rich friends. And a good income, too, from book deals and lecture fees. He may be thinking about that now. The good news is: it won’t save him. For if and when he ventures out, for the rest of his life, the eyes of all those, whose hopes he once raised will follow him. The old, the poor, the jobless, the homeless: their eyes will follow him wherever he goes. – James K. Galbraith (via Gaius Publius at Americablog)
On the Senate side, Sens. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) will serve on the commission, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced. Reps. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) will represent House Republicans, said Speaker John Boehner.
All six Republicans have signed a pledge to Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform that they will not vote to raise taxes.
They will join Democratic Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.), whom Reid appointed to the commission on Tuesday. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has not yet made her appointments.
As for movement progressives, they have a choice and they need to decide what’s more important, Barack Obama or the middle class Democrats are supposed to represent but don’t anymore.