Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Being A Leader Is Not The Same As Being Led Around By A Ring In Your Nose


Tuesday at a House Financial Services Committee meeting, Arizona freshman Kyrsten Sinema, who's racked up one of the most reactionary voting records of any Democrat in Congress, might have thought no one was looking when she sold out her own constituents in favor of Wall Street banksters. She backed all the GOP's deregulation proposals and then touted it in the Democratic caucus. She wasn't who I was talking about here... but she certainly could have been.

Adam Pase, the corporate-oriented Executive Director of the corrupt New Dems sent around a "dear colleague" letter Tuesday, shilling an OpEd by John Delaney, an extremely wealthy New Dem from Maryland who thinks-- like Republicans-- that working people need to have the retirement age raised and that the Chained CPI is a swell idea.
The last time Congress played politics with the debt ceiling, in the summer of 2011, we wounded our economy. We sent a message to the markets that we were considering destructive actions, and they listened. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 2,000 points, and August 2011 was the worst month for private-sector job creation in the past three years. For the first time ever, Standard & Poor’s downgraded the nation’s credit rating.

Instead of making the same mistake, we should do the hard work required to reach a long-term grand bargain. This means three things: (1) reforming entitlements by adopting a form of “chained CPI” to lower the long-term costs of these programs, adjusting the retirement age for those not engaged in manual labor and raising the cap on Social Security taxes; (2) generating more revenue through a “Buffett rule” approach that makes sure high-earners pay a similar rate to that of the middle class and by closing certain corporate tax loopholes while lowering corporate tax rates; and (3) adjusting discretionary and defense spending to better reflect our country’s priorities, which are vastly different than the indiscriminate cuts imposed by the sequester. With this framework, we can manage our fiscal trajectory in the next 10 years, and beyond, while also investing in our children, caring for the less fortunate and protecting our nation.
And just when the fake progressive New Dem from Phoenix was making Wall Street crooks very, very happy, Ed Markey was taking a courageous and principled stand against the Obama/Boehner scheme to wreck Social Security-- Chained CPI.
It's a complicated-sounding name that boils down to this: Social Security benefits for seniors would be cut. You could think of "CPI" as meaning "Cutting Peoples' Income."

This is a wrong-headed move. Too many seniors -- almost two-thirds, in fact -- rely on Social Security for at least half of their income. Budgeting requires compromise, but we cannot compromise by cutting Social Security.

Democrats won huge victories in 2012. We reelected President Obama. We held the Senate and made gains in the House. We don't need to roll over to the right wing when it comes to budget choices.

There's plenty in the President's budget I agree with. But Chained CPI is just a bad idea. Investing in clean energy, education, and infrastructure should not come with the price tag of going back on America's promise to our seniors.

Tea Party Republicans may have pushed the President into making tough decisions. But that doesn't mean that this budget is right or fair for the most vulnerable among us.
Don't expect heroism from the Kyrsten Sinemas of the word. Careerism... sure, but not heroism or anything remotely resembling courageousness. Steve Israel dictates her votes; he told the "Frontline Democrats" how to vote and there are only 7 of them who have followed his orders "100% of the time," to quote one of them feeble enough to send me a note about it defending a crap record. These are the 7 freshmen with 40% ProgressivePunch scores (same as right-wing sociopath Paul Broun (R-Pit of Hell)-- who have voted as a block 60% of the time against progressive positions on crucial roll calls:
Dan Maffei (New Dem-NY)
Bill Foster (New Dem- IL)
Cheri Bustos (IL)
Ann Kuster (NH)
Sean Patrick Maloney (New Dem-NY)
Scott Peters (New Dem-CA)
Kyrsten Sinema (New Dem-AZ)
The only House Members with worse voting records for the current session are
Mike McIntyre (Blue Dog/New Dem-NC)- 36.84
Ron Barber (New Dem-AZ)- 35.0
Bill Owens (New Dem-NY)- 35.0
Jim Matheson (Blue Dog-UT)- 20.0
And like we watched Sinema doing in her committee today, they do more damage behind the scenes than they do with their actual floor votes. That's why Blue America refused to back Sinema last year and why we'll never back her in the future. We're looking for independent-minded progressives with backbone and good values. Today while she was on the deregulation tip for Wall Street we were blogging with a proven progressive champion from Pennsylvania, state Senator Daylin Leach, his state's Liberal Lion, who's running for an open House seat in northeast Philly/Montgomery County. If you can't go read the entire chat (at the link in the last sentence), take a look at these two questions and answers. The first one was from me:
Will getting an "F" from the NRA hurt you at all in this district-- in either the primary or the general election? Hard to imagine Toomey actually doing the right thing-- at least on background checks. Although I noticed he reverted to form when it came to banning military assault weapons and high capacity clips. Toomey voted against them.

Daylin Leach

First, if it did hurt me, I wouldn't care. This is such a no-brainer issue with stakes so high, that I would happily lose an election before I abandoned my principles on this. That said, the people of Philadelphia know the price we pay for irrational gun policies. The carnage on our streets is something they witness first-hand every day. I can't imagine that there are very many voters out there who really believe that we should NOT KNOW if someone is a violent felon before they are permitted to buy a weapon of mass destruction, or that somebody legitimately needs a 30 round clip.
And the other question came from Lynda Benigno who I don't remember ever seeing at a Blue America chat before:
Daylin, I have noticed on social networking sites Marijuana Legalization is a hot topic. Is that, along with GMO food labeling something you are looking to pursue on the federal level?

Daylin Leach

Lynda, as Sarah Palin would say, You Betcha. Prohibition is a pernicious and cruel policy which is destroying lives and costing us billions each year. And every American has a right to know what they are feeding to their families and decide what is best after being fully informed.
See if you can ever get straight-forward unambiguous answers like that out of someone like Sinema or any DCCC careerist shill. Which is why Sinema and other DCCC careerist shills are never on this page, where you can lend some support to actual Democrats from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party, as Howard Dean put it so presciently not all that long ago.

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