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Hullabaloo


Saturday, September 04, 2010

 
Village Fop Flop

by digby

Meet your new self proclaimed "left of center" op-ed columnist for the Village Post:

If the commission does its job right, it will recommend cuts across the government -- the Pentagon, social programs, entitlements, veterans' benefits -- as well as tax increases. That's the only way to solve the debt mess. Special-interest groups on the left and right, the real sucklings at the public teat, don't want this to happen -- so they derailed the effort in Congress to name a commission and now want to discredit Obama's version.

The latest attempt came this week, again directed at the painfully blunt Simpson, who dared to question the expansion of veterans' disability benefits to cover illnesses not necessarily related to their military service. "The irony," Simpson told the Associated Press, is "that the veterans who saved this country are now, in a way, not helping us to save the country in this fiscal mess."

Again, outrage rained from the critics (including, tellingly, some of those who objected to the "tits" remark). The Veterans of Foreign Wars protested that it "believes in fiscal responsibility, but veterans' programs are sacrosanct."

Simpson, an Army veteran, is again correct. If vets are sacrosanct, Social Security is sacrosanct, low taxes are sacrosanct and everything else is sacrosanct, we'll have a whole herd of sacred cows and an economy like Greece's.

The folksy and salty Simpson, who turned 79 years old on Thursday and stands 79 inches tall, has long been one of my favorites in politics.


That's what passes for liberal in the nation's capital. It's Dana Milbank, of course, blithely waving his metaphorical lace hanky at an economically stressed nation wryly drawling that they are simply going to have to sacrifice even more. This is also why people hate liberals --- they think Dana Milbank is one.

Of course, Villagers have been calling for the little people to sacrifice for some time now, always couching it carefully with the words "we" even though they will not be among those with brain injuries or feeble old bodies (the "entitled" people) who will be forced even further into poverty by these proposed cuts:

Here's my favorite example from the wealthy Mrs Alan Greenspan way back in January of 2009:


MSNBC commentator: ... The subtext of all of this [call to service] is "hey Americans, you're gonna have to do your part too. There may be some sacrifices involved for you too." Do you think he's going to use his political capital to make those arguments and will it go beyond rhetoric?

Andrea Mitchell: It does go beyond rhetoric. He needs to engage the American people in this joint venture. That's part of the call. That's part of what he needs to accomplish in his speech and in the days following the speech. He needs to make people feel that this is their venture as well and that people are going to need to be more patient and have to contribute and that there will have to be some sacrifice.

And certainly, if he is serious about what he told the Washington Post last week, that he wants to take on entitlement reform, there will be greater sacrifice required from a nation already suffering from economic crisis --- to ask people to take a look at their health care and their other entitlements and realize that for the long term health and vitality of the country we're going to have to give up something that we already enjoy.


I'm sure Dana and Andrea will be at the front of the bread line.

He is, naturally, completely uninformed about the subject and hasn't the vaguest clue about what Simpson is proposing and how it will effect real human beings. But that doesn't matter because Old Alan is what Villagers love above all:

Simpson is exactly the right man for the debt commission: a dealmaker. His proposal for Social Security is hardly the most radical. Who would liberals rather have representing the Republicans on the debt commission? The Senate nominee from Alaska, Joe Miller, who says "we've got to transition out of the Social Security arrangement"? Kentucky Senate nominee Rand Paul, who calls Social Security a "Ponzi scheme" from which people should "opt out"? Colorado Senate nominee Ken Buck, who calls Social Security "horrible, bad policy"? Or Nevada nominee Sharron Angle, who wants to "phase Medicare and Social Security out in favor of something privatized"?


It doesn't even occur to this fop that Simpson might have exactly the same goal as they do and is doing the job of advancing it a few more steps in the their preferred direction.

He's right about one thing though. Simpson is a dealmaker, as I wrote the other day:

[Y]ou have to assume that Simpson's fulfilling his designated role. He will make a deal. All he asks is that the geezer parasites, current and future, get it out of their heads once and for all that this society should provide some basic security for everyone.




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