Although human beings hardly give any thought to the process by which they encode, store, and retrieve information, memory plays an all-important role in everyday life. Intelligent beings tend to use their memory in such a way they do not make the same mistakes over and over again and to avoid making rash decisions that could threaten their very survival. Americans have relatively short memories because they tend to both make knee-jerk reactive decisions and repeat the same mistakes, or fall victim to a recurring condition that caused them distress in the past. Republicans are prone to deliberately forget their policies caused the nation to fall into disrepair and economic distress, but it has nothing to do with their memories and more with their long-term agenda they hardly vary. The political left is really not different than the right in that they forget their past missteps and repeat them despite clear evidence they are on a path to hand Republicans precisely what they want and they are back again heading for a repeat of the 2010 midterm debacle that ushered in the era of right wing extremism and government stagnation.
Obviously, there are few Democrats, Liberals, or Progressives who are pleased that President Obama insinuated his budget due out this week includes changes to the cost of living adjustments (COLA) for Social Security, but their outrage, although understandable, is premature and informs their memories are failing them. They also reveal ignorance about the power of the head of the Executive branch of government, which is an error they made during the President’s first two years in office that led them to sit out the 2010 midterms and hand power to teabaggers the nation will have to suffer for at least the next two years.
First, the President of the United States does not make the nation’s budget; he makes suggestions, attempts to compromise and garner support from an intransigent opposition party, but the nation’s budget is the purview of the United States Congress of which one house is controlled by right-wing extremists. Second, the President made the same exact offer to Republicans during the fiscal cliff negotiations and they rejected it out of hand and gave the President the first tax increase on the wealthy in over 12 years and no spending cuts or chainedCPI affecting Social Security. Remember too, that there was complete outrage at the end of 2010 because the President failed to convince Republicans to allow the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy expire, but he kept tax cuts for 99% of Americans, secured a payroll tax deduction for two years, and extended unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed.
Prior to the 2010 midterm elections, emoprogs and the so-called professional left railed against the President because he failed to close Guantanamo, did not repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, could not secure a public option, allowed the Defense of Marriage Act to stay in force, and personally imprisoned and tortured Bradley Manning. The first three so-called “failures” were not within the power of the head of the Executive branch, and the military arrested and imprisoned Manning for stealing sensitive Defense Department data and handing it to a foreign entity. Still, there were the Emos, provoking Democrats to “teach Obama a lesson” by sitting out the midterm elections and allow the most extreme group of idiots in history to waltz in and take control of the House of Representatives, and more tragically, seize power in several state governor’s races and legislatures.
It is interesting that the left is throwing a tantrum over the purely political theatre that is the chainedCPI outrage du jour, and yet they are nearly silent over Republican governors and legislatures balking at Medicaid expansion that threatens healthcare for millions of Americans. In fact, there is already talk of “primarying” any Democrat who supports the chainedCPI proposal and it is déjà vu of 2010 all over again. Once again it is noteworthy that the Center for American Progress (CAP) recommends chainedCPI in their “The First Step – A Progressive Plan for Meaningful Deficit Reduction by 2015” in all its iterations and for the uninformed, CAP is no conservative belief tank and is not funded by the Koch brothers, Karl Rove, or involved with the American Legislative Exchange Council.
For the past four days left-leaning websites have accused the President of “wanting” to be the Democratic President who destroys the New Deal, or that he is deliberately punishing retired and elderly Americans to curry favor with Republicans. Seriously? This President who staked his entire first term on an extremely unpopular healthcare reform law that gives 37 million Americans access to affordable healthcare, and pushed through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act with no support whatsoever from Republicans wants to go down in history as the President that eviscerated Social Security?
Those on the left threatening to primary Democrats over a symbolic budget proposal fail to remember a couple of occurrences that happened within the last seven days. First, Senate Democrats stated categorically they will not support any budget compromise that includes cuts to Social Security, and Republicans in the House rejected the symbolic proposals without reading them because the President included tax increases on the wealthy and funding for infrastructure improvements. They also forget that anything this President proposes will meet a quick death in the extremist House of Representatives, and that President Obama is a shrewd negotiator that has outsmarted and outmaneuvered Republicans at every turn including winning re-election to a second term in spite of Citizens United corporate money fueling Republican extremism.
It is seriously time for the Left to take a step back, regroup, and remember what happened a little over three years ago when they whipped themselves into frenzy over issues which the President had no control. Yes, it is appropriate to express opposition to Social Security cuts, and scream at the prospect of the KeystoneXL pipeline’s construction, but revolt over a symbolic budget proposal that has no chance of passing either house of Congress? Maybe the Left should take a look in their own states and focus their outrage on the growing number of Republican legislatures and governors raping the life out of education, Medicaid, safety nets, and public employees and just imagine how much good they will do by primarying Democrats in 2014. However, that means giving an ounce of thought to the process by which they encode, store, and retrieve information, and recalling what happened the last time their outrage and overreaction over something the President had no control overruled their common sense and any modicum of self-preservation and regard for their fellow Americans. One understands why Republicans conveniently forget the damage their consistent policies produce, but it is beyond reason why the Left is willing to revisit the damage they caused this country when they sat out an important midterm election and worse, are making plans to do it again. Here is a news flash; Congress writes and enacts the nation’s budget, they alone have power to repeal DADT and DOMA, create a public option, fund relocating Guantanamo, and will be the branch that will not pass anything this President proposes. And for the record, they certainly will not be giving emoprogs unicorns, a medal for Bradley Manning, or anything else that helps the American people, so think long and hard about 2014 and if it is humanly possible, remember 2010.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.