Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Even If He Ignores Boehner, Always A Sensible Thing To Do-- Obama Should Deal With His 310 Million Tits Problem... And Fast


It's hard to stand behind the Wall Street shills Obama has running his economic shop, Geithner and Summers. Not only do they both serve the most selfish and destructive interests in America, the two of them are at least as responsible for the downturn in Democratic Party fortunes as the other bigtime Wall Street shill on Team Obama, Rahm Emanuel. But in his audition for a role in the national consciousness yesterday, John Boehner didn't call for Summers and Geithner to step down because they're Wall Street shills; he demanded they step down because... well I wanted to say "because they're not shilling enough," but in reality he just said it because it's partisan strategy and reading in any more would be as silly as the speech itself. It's worth reading the official White House fact-check of Boehner's preposterous attacks. (And, remember, as we saw yesterday, it was too early in the morning for him to have been drunk yet.)

Although no serious observer agree with Boehner's reasons, plenty of progressives agree that it's way past time for Obama to get rid of Summers and Geithner (and Emanuel, someone so lame that Boehner didn't mention his name, hoping, no doubt, he'll be around long enough to guarantee big Republican victories in November). However, there's another Obama appointment, perhaps his worst, short of Rahm, since being elected, who he should get rid of even before Summers and Geithner: a misanthrope and drunk, like Boehner, Alan Simpson. Obama should never have created the Austerity Commission or Cat Food Commission to begin with. Appointing longtime Social Security hater Alan Simpson as co-chair was a disastrous blunder-- for Americans. There's now a nationwide demand that Obama fire him at once. Why? Glad you asked. Here's the letter that went out to the President yesterday:
Dear President Obama,

We call for the resignation of Alan K. Simpson as co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. We have given the former Senator several chances at redemption, but his email today to our sister member organization, the Older Women’s League, illustrates his clear disrespect for Social Security, women and the American people, highlighted by his degrading, sexist, ageist and profane language. In the closing few sentences of the e-mail he states, “It’s the same with any system in America. We’ve reached a point now where it’s like a milk cow with 310 million tits! Call when you get honest work.”

The facts speak for themselves, but Mr. Simpson suggests that anyone supporting people who most need help and who deserve the benefits they paid for must be dishonest or stupid. (Greedy Geezers, Pink Panthers, People not caring a whit about their grandchildren, the lesser people) Such open contempt goes beyond the pale and cannot be tolerated from someone in such a position of authority.

The National Council of Women’s Organizations (NCWO) works in coalition with many other campaigns to prevent misleading and false attacks on Social Security. Forty-five percent of women over age 65, who live alone, do so in poverty. Women, who earn less on average for the same work as men, are hit again upon taking Social Security benefits; due to lower lifetime earnings, women receive on average less than $12,000 per year in Social Security benefits, while men receive nearly $14,000.

Further, women are not living longer in retirement (low-income minority women have seen decreases in life expectancy), and cannot continue to work more years in physically difficult or demanding jobs. Social Security is not an overly generous program helping all seniors live out luxurious retirements. Social Security provides a base level of replacement income for older Americans who can no longer work, and any cuts to benefits, either in the form of smaller checks or by raising the retirement age, will hurt all generations, forcing more and more Americans back into poverty.

It may be good politics to have such an enemy to play off of heading into November, but Mr. President, it is time for you to stand up for the millions of American workers who have paid into Social Security on the promise of a secure retirement, and put them ahead of political sportsmanship. Mr. Simpson must be removed from this commission, either by his own will, or by yours. Show American workers you mean what you say about protecting Social Security. This is your chance.

As RJ Eskow explained at Huffington Post yesterday, the President has simply got to fire this bumbling idiot. It was a terrible mistake to fire Shirley Sherrod. It would be an equally horrible mistake to try to cover up for Alan Simpson, even though she's the daughter of an impoverished share cropper murdered by the KKK and he's the son of privilege, his daddy a senator (who voted against the Civil Rights Act) and governor.
Alan Simpson is the co-chair of President Obama's Deficit Commission, which is charged with creating a bipartisan consensus for balancing the budget. Lately Simpson's foulmouthed tirades have drawn at least as much attention as the Commission's actual work. His latest rant-- which includes denigrating an activist for women's issues with remarks about "a milk cow with 310 million tits" -- crosses the line once and for all. It demonstrates conclusively that he possesses neither the judgment, the ability, nor the emotional stability to carry out his mission. He's become an embarrassment to the President and an impediment to his Commission's objectives. He must resign immediately. If he's unwilling to do so, the President must fire him.

Simpson's notoriously thin-skinned, and he's in the habit of pelting his critics with abusive monologues or emails. That argumentative streak, which has only gotten worse in recent months, leaves him spectacularly ill-suited to the mission the President laid out for him when he announced the formation of his Commission. The President said "I'm confident that the Commission I'm establishing today will build a bipartisan consensus to put America on the path toward fiscal reform and responsibility."

Instead of building consensus, Simpson's been showering skeptics with abuse, rather than persuasion. His run-in with activist Alex Lawson became an Internet sensation, both for Simpson's unbalanced demeanor and for the sheer irrationality of his attempted counter-arguments. A Simpson email to Dean Baker read in part: "if this is the way that you do your reporting, I would think that you would have damn few fans or readers!" (He seems unaware that Baker's a highly respected economist.) Simpson adds: "I loved the picture accompanying your piece. With chin in hand, I first thought of Rodin's The Thinker -- but after reading the piece I can see you haven't done very much of that!"

Goal ThermometerDepressing, huh? And that's what happens when you embrace bipartisanism for the sake of bipartisanism and get nothing out of it to move the country forward. In someone's mind Alan Simpson is existentially different from John Boehner. But that someone has got to be pretty damn naïve. Yesterday the Blue America/Americans For America team felt pretty inspired after reading Boehner's boneheaded remarks. We decided to run this 30 second spot on television stations in his district. Please give it a look and consider helping us keep it running by contributing here-- or through the pretty blue thermometer just over on the right. Boehner is beatable. The DCCC has this professional courtesy among sharks things going and absolutely refuse to take him on. It's up to us. Would it be worth $5 or $10 to you to help Justin Coussoule run a competitive race against the orange man-- or to help Blue America keep him off balance?

UPDATE: Paul Krugman-- Simpson "Has To Go"

When I started writing this, I looked to see if Krugman had chimed in. He hadn't. But he has now-- and he's calling for Obama to send Simpson home with his fevered dreams of cows with hundreds of millions of tits.
I always thought that the deficit commission was a bad idea; it has only looked worse over time, as the buzz is that Democrats are caving in to Republicans, leaning ever further toward an all-cuts, no taxes solution, including a sharp rise in the retirement age.

I’ve also had my eye on Alan Simpson, the supposedly grown-up Republican co-chair, who has been talking nonsense about Social Security from the get-go.

At this point, though, Obama is on the spot: he has to fire Simpson, or turn the whole thing into a combination of farce and tragedy-- the farce being the nature of the co-chair, the tragedy being that Democrats are so afraid of Republicans that nothing, absolutely nothing, will get them sanctioned.

When you have a commission dedicated to the common good, and the co-chair dismisses Social Security as a “milk cow with 310 million tits,” you either have to get rid of him or admit that you’re completely, um, cowed by the right wing, that IOKIYAR rules completely.

And no, an apology won’t suffice. Simpson was completely in character here; it was perfectly consistent with everything else he’s said, and with his previous behavior. He has to go.

And Rep. Raúl Grijalva, chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said pretty much the same thing-- only he's a Member of Congress. “It has become increasingly apparent that his disdain for Social Security is out of line with the majority of Americans. His disregard for the integrity of the program, and for women in general, is unsettling. Americans have invested and earned their right to have a secure retirement, whether or not Sen. Simpson agrees... Social Security belongs to every American who has worked hard, paid taxes, and earned a good retirement. Social Security does not contribute a penny to the federal deficit, and its benefits should not be cut in a misguided attempt to reduce that deficit. If Sen. Simpson truly feels the disgust at Social Security he indicates in this letter, he should consider recusing himself from the commission.”

Labels: , ,


At 1:45 AM, Anonymous steve said...

Asking Obama to fire Simpson shows the naivete of those progressives who still think Obama is on their side.

Obama fully knew what sort of jackass Simpson was on SS when he was appointed. The only rational conclusion to be drawn is that Simpson represents Obama.

At 6:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More of the same tempest in a teapot politics we should come to expect. The 310 million tits remark is an honest and remarkably succinct, although crass, way of describing our entire political system. The man who said it should be given a Medal of Honor for his courage. It's too bad our political system doens't tolerate that.

Nevertheless, all those calling for his firing reveal themselves for their support for the corrupt political system of special interests doling out favors, and Social Security is the mother-of-all special-interest programs. However much you like Social Security, a man shouldn't be afraid to call it what it is. Simpson's description's not nice, but true. The man who calls it that is courageous, the man who is offended and calls for his firing is a cowering ninny who hides from reality.


Post a Comment

<< Home