Feingold links Pelosi with Steny Hoyer for supporting Simpson-Bowles “Catfood” proposal

Does Nancy Pelosi stand with Steny Hoyer against Social Security?

We recently reported that Nancy Pelosi is fully on board with the Simpson-Bowles “Catfood-for-Granny” proposal. Among our recommendations:

Don’t trust Nancy Pelosi. She’s trying to sell out the safety net. All that verbal obfuscation simply means she’s also protecting her “San Francisco liberal” brand in the process. She can’t have both, but she’s trying.

GP’s rule for dealing with Dems:

If you want something from them, threaten what they’re desperate to keep.

This usually means their jobs (primaries anyone?), but in a few cases it’s their “brand” — their “unique selling point” — the persona (the mask) that allows them to fund-raise.

What does Pelosi want? To be the “liberal” face of the Pelosi-Hoyer axis. Threaten to take that away and you get her attention.

We are therefore so glad to see Russ Feingold making the same point, and the same linkage (my emphasis and some reparagraphing):

Russ Feingold, the former senator from Wisconsin, said in an email to supporters that Pelosi “has signaled a disturbing potential willingness to adopt a plan that could slash these benefits. And it follows a pattern: Too many House Democrats, including Steny Hoyer, are already on board.”

Feingold’s challenge, sent to backers of his group Progressives United, comes after Pelosi has repeatedly said that she would vote in favor of the Simpson-Bowles plan, a deficit cutting project that slashes Social Security and Medicare, while raising revenue and cutting defense spending. The progressive online organization CREDO Action will also be sending an email to its supporters backing up Feingold’s challenge.

Exactly right, as I see it. We need more of this boldness. If you’re inclined toward action, here’s that CREDO Action link again.

Some thoughts about the thoughts behind this Pelosi cave, from the same article:

Eric Kingson, co-director of Social Security Works, said last week he was worried that Pelosi was making a dangerous gamble: By publicly backing Simpson-Bowles, she is able to make Republicans look that much more intransigent for not meeting her in the middle. … But the consequence is that Pelosi is on record in favor of drastic cuts, a difficult position to defend in an election year [sic][.]

Catch that? “A difficult position to defend in an election year.” I’ll translate — “Impoverishing the elderly is totally bad for appearances.”

Feingold totally agrees:

“Cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits are unacceptable, and they shouldn’t be put on the table by Democrats for any reason — including cynical, political ones,” he said. “Leader Pelosi must stand up for these crucial programs.”

Pelosi and Hoyer, together at last. How is that not true?

Does Nancy Pelosi stand with Steny Hoyer against Social Security?

So far, the answer is Yes. Madame Speaker, over to you.

Update: Very interesting comment thread, including this find by A reader in Colorado. Thanks, all.


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Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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