Does nobody remember the election of 2010? The GOP did not run on cutting medicare - they ran on restoring the cuts Obama proposed. And running to the left of Obama, they smashed the dems, who had their hands tied behind them by the clueless prez.
With the new budger, O. has once again enacted the same strategy. As a political strategy, his idea seems to be that trading the votes of the Washington Post op ed crew (they will love the cuts to gross entitlements) for the votes of the majority of Americans (who hate the cuts to the entitlements they have earned over a generation of wage stagnation and peculation by Wall Street) is an excellent idea. It isn't that the Dem voters will vote for Republicans - they just wont vote. This is an easy dynamic to see. As a farcical sideshow, this disaster will be accompanied, in the comments sections of liberal blogs, with Dem operatives or Obama fans adopting strident and bullying tones towards those who find the strategy politically pathetic and economically noxious, to be followed by the same shills explaining the Dem losses of 2014 on "holier than thou" leftists and liberals. Such are the limits of politics in the era of the mock demoracy, as the plutocratic parties battle for the margins.
One cannot, then, see this from the point of view of seerious politics. There is no serious politics going on here - the viewpoint of the majority is going to be ignored by whoever they elect. So one has to view it as a form of entertainment, comedy on a low level. And of course the balony factory, aka the establishment press, will provide the stage directions for this farce in their own inimitable language, half high school cheerleader, half dimwit. Thus, the NYT today, in Jackie Calmes thumbsucker, presented us with this alice in wonderland analysis:
"The president’s views put him at the head of a small but growing faction of liberals and moderate Democrats who began arguing several years ago that unless the party agrees to changes in the entitlement benefit programs — which are growing unsustainably as baby boomers age and medical prices rise — the programs’ costs will overwhelm all other domestic spending to help the poor, the working class and children.
“The math on entitlements is just not sustainable,” said Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, one of the few Democrats to unequivocally endorse Mr. Obama’s budget. “And if you’re not finding ways to reform, where do you squeeze? Well, then you squeeze early-childhood programs, you squeeze Head Start, you squeeze education and veterans.”
Ah, the small but growing portion of liberals who think that unsustainable medical costs are best met by - throwinhg those costs back on the individual! Its a whole new kind of liberalism, a sort of truthiness liberalism, which simply uses a new language - for instance, it used to be that the justification for entitlements is that certain costs can't be sustained by the individual household, but now, through liberaliness, we simply and easily reverse that notion and hope nobody notices that we are speaking nonsense. The NYT, always looking for the cutting edge and always finding it a couple years after it has become the boring norm, is charmed by the fact that it is small but growing - which is usually what the doctor says before he recommends surgery. Alas, the surgery that will be performed will separate the small but growing plutocrat friendly party - defending entitlements by eviscerating them - from the large but powerless body that cannot find any defenders among a political class that has merged entirely with the gated community crowd. It is the politics of the tumor by the tumor and for the tumor.
I can't wait for the Media to find the new Dem version of Paul Ryan to represent this small but growing liberaliness faction: Obama's heir!
In one way, this doesn't come as a surprise: Obama did say, in his first debate with Romney, that he and the governor agreed completely on social security. But I was caught up in the small delusion that the election of more liberal Dems to the senate would stifle Obama's liberaliness. It didn't.