Connect with us

The Obama-Republican Party Deficit Deal: Hope and Cave?

Published

on

From all accounts forthcoming from Washington, D.C.  late this afternoon, the media is reporting, with very little differentiation that a political resolution to the Republicans’ manufactured deficit ceiling crisis has been successfully negotiated between President Barack Obama and Senator Mitch O’Connell, the Senate Minority Leader, and with Majority Leader Harry Reid’s apparent consent. According to politicos in the know, this deal, if supported, will resolve the nation’s unprecedented budgetary crisis through 2013, after the elections, and should put the country on a fiscal footing that could avoid a downgrade in the U.S. credit rating.

But Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Leader in the House is not rushing to embrace the plan sight unseen. As reported by Talking Points Memo this evening: “We all may not be able to support it,” she said. “And maybe none of us will be able to support it.”

Not all Americans are checked out and a very harsh verdict by Obama supporters, principally Democrats, is ricocheting around the Internet on Twitter: “#hopeandcave” has emerged from Obama’s base that is sizzling hot in its indictment of Obama’s apparent propensity to go more than half-way to meet Republican recalcitrant demands.

Adding more heat to an Internet that is burning up is the Califorina Democratic Party’s Progressive Caucus is calling for a primary challenge to Obama, which is sesmic–an earthquake sound shouted from the West Coast, reported by our colleagues at LGBT POV.

This is nothing to sneeze at.  A front page story on the New York Times today titled “Rightward Tilt Leaves Obama With Party Rift” reports:

Entering a campaign that is shaping up as an epic clash over the parties’ divergent views on the size and role of the federal government, Republicans have changed the terms of the national debate. Mr. Obama, seeking to appeal to the broad swath of independent voters, has adopted the Republicans’ language and in some cases their policies, while signaling a willingness to break with liberals on some issues.

That has some progressive members of Congress and liberal groups arguing that by not fighting for more stimulus spending, Mr. Obama could be left with an economy still producing so few jobs by Election Day that his re-election could be threatened. Besides turning off independents, Mr. Obama risks alienating Democratic voters already disappointed by his escalation of the war in Afghanistan and his failure to close the Guantánamo Bay prison, end the Bush-era tax cuts and enact a government-run health insurance system.

 The New York Times’ conclusions are backed up by Salon.com’s Glen Greenwald in “Democratic Politics in a Nutshell,” who quotes Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), a member of the “Out of Poverty” caucus, who said this past week:

“We’ve got to educate the American people at the same time we educate the President of the United States.  The Republicans, Speaker Boehner or Majority Leader Cantor did not call for Social Security cuts in the budget deal. The President of the United States called for that,” Conyers, who has served in the House since 1965, said. “My response to him is to mass thousands of people in front of the White House to protest this,” Conyers said strongly.

The Senate voted this afternoon to stop debate and move to final passage. Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid’s compromise intended to resolve the deficit ceiling budget crisis, but it failed to reach the magical 60 votes necessary. Reid has announced he will call a vote this evening after McConnell and the Republicans extracted more Democratic flesh in further cuts to entitlements, including Social Security and Medicare.

Greg Sargent from the Washington Post is reporting that the Republicans have gotten about 98 percent of what they have so obdurately pursued in lock-step–bottom line, no new taxes seems to have carried the day and about $2.4 trillion in undetermined cuts. Sargent explains:

By all accounts, it looks like a deal is about to be announced in which the debt ceiling is hiked in exchange for the promise of major spending cuts, including to entitlements, totalling at least $2.4 trillion.

Anything can happen, but it appears the GOP is on the verge of pulling off a political victory that may be unprecedented in American history. Republicans may succeed in using the threat of a potential outcome that they themselves acknowledged would lead to national catastrophe as leverage to extract enormous concessions from Democrats, without giving up anything of any significance in return.

Not only that, but Republicans — in perhaps the most remarkable example of political up-is-downism in recent memory — cast their willingness to dangle the threat of national crisis as a brave and heroic effort they’d undertaken on behalf of the national interest. Only the threat of national crisis could force the immediate spending cuts supposedly necessary to prevent a far more epic crisis later.

This is where the #hopeandcave sentiments begin with Democratic Progressives. Another sentiment also emerging is that more and more calls to #primaryObama from the left in the past few weeks, initially recommended by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), which have been echoed on the pages of the Wall Street Journal by Peter du Pont, who has called for Hillary Clinton to challenge Obama, not surprisingly. Many Clinton supporters are waiting in the wings and have drafted a petition drive to draft her, praying that Hillary will tip her hand, resign her office and take a leap of audacity by challenging Obama, a sitting president, to a redux of a bitter fight in 2008.

Nonetheless, Democratic pundits have dismissed disgruntled liberals, essentially saying they have no other place to go, but as the details emerge on where the cuts will fall, don’t be so sure, that people who are really hurting in this abysmal economy  just might stay home in 2012. And if all else fails in the next two days, don’t count on Obama invoking the 14th Amendment to protect the country’s fiscal sovereignty. He and many members of his Administration have dismissed that course of action as not feasible.

Tanya L. Domi is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, who teaches about human rights in Eurasia and is a Harriman Institute affiliated faculty member. Prior to teaching at Columbia, Domi worked internationally for more than a decade on issues related to democratic transitional development, including political and media development, human rights, gender issues, sex trafficking, and media freedom.

Continue Reading
Click to comment
 
 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

BREAKING NEWS

Trump Asks Supreme Court to Intervene for Him in Classified Documents Case

Published

on

Donald Trump on Tuesday petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in his classified documents case, and reverse a ruling from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals that allowed the U.S. Dept. of Justice access to the more than 100 classified and top secret documents federal agents recovered from his Mar-a-Lago residence and resort.

Trump is asking the nation’s highest court to order a special master to continue to inspect the 103 classified documents, despite the special master emphatically stating the government, not Trump, gets to decide what is classified and what is not, especially when Trump refused to provide a list of what he considered declassified.

The lawsuit, which is a massive 240 pages, mostly made up of other documents including the now infamous FBI photo of the classified documents on the Mar-a-Lago rug, is addressed to “The Honorable Clarence Thomas, Circuit Justice for the Eleventh Circuit,” and refers to the former president as “President Trump.”

The lawsuit also mentions the contents that federal agents took, including “89 empty envelopes,” while not noting they were classified document envelopes.

“As part of the 11th Circuit’s decision, the panel allowed the criminal investigation to use the seized documents, something [Judge] Cannon had previously barred,” The Washington Post notes. “Trump’s filing seeks only to reverse the appeals court’s ruling on the special master’s access to the documents, not the part of the decision concerning the investigation.”

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. 

Continue Reading

News

Biden Will Include DeSantis in His Visit to Support Florida Hurricane Victims

Published

on

President Joe Biden will travel to Florida Wednesday to support families devastated by Hurricane Ian, and will include the state’s GOP governor, Ron DeSantis, in his trip, the White House announced Tuesday.

Last week, asked if he would meet with DeSantis, a top detractor of the president, Biden told a reporter who asked, “I’ll meet with everybody who’s around. The answer is yes, if he wants to meet.”

“This is not about anything having to do with our disagreements politically, this is about saving people’s lives, homes and businesses,” Biden also said last week.

DeSantis asked President Biden for financial assistance for his state, battered by what experts say is one of the worst hurricanes in U.S. history. DeSantis voted against relief aid for victims of Hurricane Sandy when he served in Congress.

President Biden and the First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, will travel via Air Force One to Fort Myers, one of the hardest-hit areas of Florida by Hurricane Ian.

READ MORE: Watch: 2024 Presidential Hopeful Ron DeSantis Says ‘Cause for Concern Cause’ With Democrats Moving to Florida

But Fort Myers is also part of Lee County, where officials delayed evacuation orders.

“Lee County, which includes the hard-hit seaside community of Fort Myers Beach, as well as the towns of Fort Myers, Sanibel and Cape Coral, did not issue a mandatory evacuation order for the areas likely to be hardest hit until Tuesday morning, a day after several neighboring counties had ordered their most vulnerable residents to flee,” The New York Times reported. “By then, some residents recalled that they had little time to evacuate.”

“Lee County, which includes the hard-hit seaside community of Fort Myers Beach, as well as the towns of Fort Myers, Sanibel and Cape Coral, did not issue a mandatory evacuation order for the areas likely to be hardest hit until Tuesday morning, a day after several neighboring counties had ordered their most vulnerable residents to flee,” the Times added. “By then, some residents recalled that they had little time to evacuate.”

The St. Louis Post Dispatch blasted the Florida GOP governor, calling his “flip-flop on hurricane relief” a “study in right-wing hypocrisy.”

READ MORE: ‘Premeditated, Fraudulent, and Illegal’: Asylum Seekers Sue DeSantis After Being Sent to Martha’s Vineyard

“DeSantis’ willingness to shelve his usual attacks on the Biden administration to politely request emergency federal aid in the wake of Hurricane Ian is an inspiring example of constructive bipartisanship — as is Biden’s announcement that the government will bear a big part of the expense,” the Dispatch Editorial Board stated. “It’s interesting, though, that DeSantis took exactly the opposite stance a decade ago when he joined other hard-right members of Congress who argued against generous federal recovery aid when Hurricane Sandy ravaged the Northeast.”

Over the weekend DeSantis was blasted by volunteer relief aid workers who were delayed for hours in distributing “food, water, medicine, diapers, and anything else people needed” so Gov. DeSantis could get a photo-op.

 

Continue Reading

News

‘It’s a Lot More Nuanced, Peter, You Know This’: Karine Jean-Pierre Forced to Explain to Doocy the Price of Gas

Published

on

Fox News propagandist Peter Doocy on Tuesday challenged White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about the price of gas, suggesting President Joe Biden is responsible for its increase but not its decrease. Jean-Pierre explained what global issues affect the price of gas, while explaining the “historic” steps President Biden has taken.

“You’ve said the President was responsible for gas prices coming down. Is the president responsible for gas prices going up?” Doocy asked.

Jean-Pierre was not about to let that pass to give Fox News a talking point.

“So, it’s a lot more nuanced than that, right, Peter, you know this,” Jean-Pierre pushed back.

READ MORE: Watch: Fox News’ Peter Doocy Admits There Are Republicans ‘That Don’t Agree With Voting Rights’

“There have been global challenges that we have all have dealt with – when I say all, meaning other countries, as well, have dealt with since the pandemic. There’s been pandemic and there’s been Putin’s war. And Putin’s war has increased gas prices at the pump.”

“We have seen that over the past several months and what the President was able to do, he took some historic steps. When you think about the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and making sure that he, we were able to do everything that we can to bring that cost down for American families, give them a little bit more of a breathing room and we saw that we saw that every day this summer, over saving American families, over $1 per gallon. And so that is what the President is going to continue to stay focused on the American consumers. How do we continue to keep to keep prices down? That’s why we we did the inflation Reduction Act that’s why we talk about the Chips Act. All of these things are going to help Americans here in this country.”

Doocy rattled off some of the highest gas prices in the nation, asking, “who can afford that?”

READ MORE: ‘I Was Waiting Peter’: Karine Jean-Pierre Calls Doocy’s Claim ‘Ridiculous’ as He Presses About ‘MAGA Republicans’

“We understand that,” Jean-Pierre replied, expressing empathy, “that’s why the President worked so hard the past several months, to make sure that he did everything we can to bring gas prices down. We have seen fastest – I know you’re pulling out a couple of areas across the country and I get that, and we understand that there’s more work to do. We have never said we were done here. We have always been very clear that there is more work to do. But we have seen the reality is we have seen the fastest decline in gasoline prices in over a decade. That’s because of what this President has done. And again, prices going down by more than dollar per gallon and these are real savings are talking about $100 per month in savings for average family with two cars.”

Watch this short clip below or at this link.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.