Top Senate and House Democrats are worried that the President is giving away their first big electoral issue advantage in years, preserving Medicare (and Social Security):
Senators Murray and Schumer, along with other Dems like Debbie Stabenow and Mark Begich, have warned against deep cuts in recent leadership meetings, a source familiar with the meetings says, another sign of the unrest that the possibility of serious entitlements cuts is creating among Congressional Democrats.
“We shouldn’t be giving away our advantage on Medicare,” said a source familiar with Murray’s thinking, in characterizing her objections in private meetings. “We should be very careful about giving away the biggest advantage we’ve had as Democrats in some time.”
“For the first time in the past two and a half years we have an unmitigated advantage on a single issue where our entire caucus is united,” the source continues. “This is a case where the whole morale of our party was lifted by the fact that we were taking the fight to Republicans.”
The President has always been a fan of bashing Democrats to his own policy and electoral advantage. Well, that would be mainstream Democrats in Congress and his base. The President doesn’t bash conservative Democrats because they’re an awful lot like Republicans, and he very much wants all of them to like him, so there’s very little bashing. But for the rest of Democrats, it’s bashapalooza.
Sometimes the bashing is overt (“professional left” comes to mind), and sometimes more subtle, such as when the President today equated Democratic concern about cutting Social Security and Medicaid to the pressure the Teabaggers are putting on Boehner (the President didn’t name any of them, he simply stated that both sides face pressure from people who don’t want change – thus creating his usual false equivalence in which he casts Democrats, and their constituents, as being just as bad as Teabaggers).
But consistent throughout the Obama campaign and administration has been the ease with which they cast friends and allies aside with nary a thought. They expect you to be there for them, but they’re not big fans of being there for you – and will even demean you, and cast you aside, if it’s to their own perceived advantage.
Folks on the Hill seem to finally be waking up to the fact that the President’s electoral coattails aren’t meant to be ridden on, they’re meant to slap you in the face as he whizzes by to victory.