Kicking The Catfood Can Down The Road
It appears today that the Catfood Commission is dead on arrival as expected. I'm not quite sure why people seem to think this is news --- nobody expected that it would get the 14 votes necessary for it to be adopted. The idea was to establish a new bipartisan baseline from which to make certain "Grand Bargains." It's always been a goalpost moving exercise and a way to put social security on the menu. Social Security isn't even part of the deficit, so the fact that they rather clumsily tacked it on anyway should be a tip off. They could have avoided that train wreck if they'd wanted to. We will be talking about the bipartisan agreement from the commission going forward as if it's been decided that this is the Very Serious position and only the far right kooks and far left kooks disagree.
Speaking of which, I wanted to just point out that this otherwise excellent post by Kevin Drum about everyone fiddling while America burns, the push back against the first draft of the commission report was an unfortunately necessary overreaction. It's of a different sort altogether than Mosque mania or pat-down fever. If there isn't a strong reaction to something like this, there's every reason to believe they may have been able to get the 14 votes in this environment.
There are many progressive initiatives that liberal interest groups could be spending their time and money working on rather than defending the social safety net from people who would destroy it. It's a sad comment indeed that it was necessary to mobilize like this under a Democratic president and congressional majority.