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Hullabaloo


Friday, April 05, 2013

 
No the liberals do not have to make Sophie's Choice

by digby

Greg Sargent has frequently made the case that liberals are going to have to choose between the sequester cuts and the Grand Bargain and therefore will need to make the affirmative case for why they are choosing the sequester.  (I never get the sense that if they "choose" the Grand Bargain that anyone other than a bunch of loser liberals will demand an explanation.)

And Greg is probably right that if the Republicans are smart enough to take yes for an answer, the liberals in the House will face the wrath of their Party apparatus and the president (and the liberal establishment) if they end up voting against a Grand Bargain. But it is NOT like the health care vote in which they were faced with the choice of walking away from a plan that greatly expanded healthcare for the working poor or giving up a public plan they wanted.  That was a choice between two positive outcomes --- nobody was going to lose something they already had.

This, on the other hand, is a choice between two negatives.  Essentially, as before, the White House and the Democratic centrists are holding hostages but this time they're basically telling the progressives that a hostage is going to get shot no matter what: Head Start and food inspections today or the elderly, the sick and the veterans tomorrow and they have to choose which one.  Why should progressives bear that responsibility? They didn't get us into this mess.

I say they should just say no. Republicans do it all the time and everybody just throws up their hands and says, "well, I guess we'd better figure out something else." They should hold fast and say "the sequester sucks and so does the Grand Bargain and we don't support either one." Most of the progressives didn't vote for the sequester in the first place and bear no responsibility for it.  (And even those who did have no obligation to defend the monster that everyone assured them had no chance of ever becoming law.) This is a failure of the leadership of both parties and progressives are not required to betray their most fundamental values and defend any of these ridiculous cuts to anyone.

Just say no.  The "sequester vs Grand Bargain" is a phony construct made by man, not God, and there's no reason on earth why any progressive should be forced to own either one. Find another way.

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