Let’s start simple. I have two modest goals for the Grand Bargain Lame Duck dogfight:
- No benefits cuts to the safety net — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid.
- No extension of the Bush–Obama Tax Cuts, so they expire from neglect.
Sweetening safety net benefits would be nice, but that’s gravy on the cake (so to speak). I’ll settle for broken government that works for us for a change. A modest goal — no action on either front.
We’ll address the Bush–Obama Tax Cuts later. First, the safety net. Listed below are the so-called Democratic senators who won’t say No to Benefit Cuts, who won’t stand up for traditional Democratic values, who won’t stand up the the president when he’s very very wrong, who won’t sign Sen. Bernie Sanders’ No Cuts letter.
These are your roll-over Dems. These are the Dems against whom there should be Open Rebellion — by us and by their colleagues under the Capitol dome. If you’re a Democrat and you’re willing to cut safety net benefits in a severe downturn … you’re not a Democrat within the meaning of the act. You’re just wearing the gear. These issues are that central to the meaning of the party.
Your Roll-Over Dems
Max Baucus (CostumeDem–MT) — term ends in 2014
Michael Bennet (CostumeDem–CO) — term ends in 2016
Jeff Bingaman (CostumeDem–NM) — retiring this year
Tom Carper (CostumeDem–DE) — running this year
Bob Casey (CostumeDem–PA) — running this year
Kent Conrad (CostumeDem–ND) — retiring this year
Chris Coons (CostumeDem–DE) — term ends after 2014
■ Dick Durbin (CostumeDem–IL) — term ends after 2014
Dianne Feinstein (CostumeDem–CA) — running this year
Kay Hagan (CostumeDem–NC) — term ends after 2014
■ John Kerry (CostumeDem–MA) — term ends after 2014
■ Amy Klobuchar (CostumeDem–MN) — running this year
Herb Kohl (CostumeDem–WI) — retiring this year
Mary Landrieu (CostumeDem–LA) — running in 2014
Joe Lieberman (“Independent”–Pits of Hell) — retiring to Pits of Hell
■ Claire McCaskill (CostumeDem–MO) — running this year
Ben Nelson (CostumeDem–NE) — retiring this year
■ Bill Nelson (CostumeDem–FL) — running this year
Mark Pryor (CostumeDem–AR) — running in 2014
Jeanne Shaheen (CostumeDem–NH) — running in 2014
Jon Tester (CostumeDem–MT) — running this year
Mark Udall (CostumeDem–CO) — running in 2014
Mark Warner (CostumeDem–VA) — running in 2014
Jim Webb (CostumeDem–VA) — retiring this year
(Source; please let me know if I introduced errors)
Let’s call this a baseline list. The ones in bold are running for re-election this year. The ones in italics are frequent Obama surrogates. The ■ bulleted ones have some degree of “liberal cred” — at least among those who don’t know better — which they use to fundraise and to get on MSNBC. (For more on who might replace the retirees, see here.)
This is a core issue, folks, so I’m going to publish this list from time to time. These are your traitors. Let’s not pretend otherwise. Should there be an electoral, branding and fundraising price for that? You decide. I already have.
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