Politico confirms Obama’s fiscal cliff frame: “Let’s each kill one of our own”

Update: Don’t miss the “back-door privatization” of Medicare discussed below the picture of Caesar and his friends. Folding Medicare (public insurance) into Obamacare (private insurance) is becoming part of the evolving discussion.

A brief follow-up to the last post about the “fiscal cliff” (or the Gunfight at Obama Bluff) — “Obama to Boehner: Let’s each kill one of our own.” Politico discusses the Klein-described deal, and in the process, confirms that this is where the discussion is being had. Politico’s first sentence (my emphasis):

The script for a fiscal cliff deal was always supposed to be simple: Democrats would win on taxes. Republicans would win on entitlements.

It’s that simple. Politico is DC insider-central on this stuff, especially when they offer throw-away assumptions like the one above. The rest of the article details how small a deal Republicans are getting — the knife cut Obama delivers to Medicare may be mainly symbolic. Fair enough. On the taxes side, the compromise tax-cut agreement may also be symbolic, as I noted in my earlier piece.

Again, the skeleton of the Obama-Boehner bargain is a mutually-agreed betrayal — “You kill one of yours, and I’ll kill one of mine.” It’s a mutual “Et tu, brute?” moment.

Notice, by the way, that Politico’s second sentence add to the pressure on Dems to say yes:

But what kind of victory can Republicans really hope to win? They’re going to have to lower their sights — by a lot — from the big ideas they pushed in the presidential campaign.

See — they’re selling this as a good deal for Dems. How nice of them. Did I mention that Politico is “DC insider-central”? This stuff is how you know. They sell DC insider recommendations.

What are you going to do about it? (Click to find options.)

Folding abandoned Medicare seniors into Obamacare is back-door privatization

Obama people are going to tell you that even if he’s “forced” to raise the Medicare eligibility age, the least affluent of those abandoned will be covered by Obamacare. So a reminder — Obamacare is privatized medical care. It forces citizens to buy medical insurance from private insurers — like United Health Care, for example — instead of offering single payer government insurance, or even a public option to compete with private insurers.

Obamacare is privatized medical care. Any move to reduce Medicare coverage and fold it into Obamacare is back-door privatization. Remember that when Obama (and his minions, like Dick Durbin and Steny Hoyer) tell you the “stabbing Medicare” piece of Obama-Boehner is not so bad after all.

Tell them No. You voted against Romney-Ryan — you voted against privatized Medicare.

(And progressives imagined that Obamacare would evolve toward less privatization! Silly us. Obamacare is a Trojan horse, and I’m liking Dennis Kucinich’s plane ride even less than I used to.)

Update: Digby and Joan Walsh agree. Click to read why.


To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius

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

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  • condew

    To all the new negative voices spreading gloom and doom in this thread: The end of the world is next Friday, not today.

  • condew

    Concern troll?

  • Beleck3

    yes, i gather reading Obama was supported here vs the evil Romney. and lo and behold! Obama turns out to be worse. who would a thunk it. them old progressives and the “Lesser Evil” is still EVIL meme.

    oh well enjoy the Death Panels Private Health INsurances Companies have today. and had yesterday. Single Payer was just public nonsense, i gather. too late now.

    America lost and Obama and the Rich Won. Romeny was just a way to get the “FEAR” vote so Obama could do away with Social Security and Medicare. someting Romeny would have trouble doing.

    and to watch Obama screw the poor and the Blacks who revere him as one of their “own.” irony, sick perverted irony.

    this website was pro Obama, so what does that say? if GP wasn’t an Obama supporter, he is associated with this website which was pro Obama and the whole Obama scam. as they say, “Tell me who you walk with and i’ll tell you who you are.” just looks bad for you, GP. to be associated with those that promoted the Obama label. would you associate with known Republicans? too.?

    “birds of a feather” implications.

    Obama was a crook from the beginning, From the vote on Telephone surveillance spying onward. those of us who pay attention, know Obama was a greater danger than Romeny, but we were attacked for various reasons. now the truth has come out for more to see. too late now. the die is cast the spell is spoken.

    Obamacare was written by a member of the Well Point health insurance company, an aide to Sen Baucus of Montana, if i remember correctly. to have an Insurance agent wrote Obamacare.

    American like being deceived apparently. as i can say. We told you so!, but what good does that do, anyway. all the people who are getting screwed by Obama, i guess this is their just rewards. and it is not good or helpful. it is just the facts.

  • ezpz

    Oh right! How could I have forgotten that one?! Thanks!

  • A reader in Colorado

    Remember “It’s time to look forward, not backward”, about war criminals.

  • ezpz

    I wonder if it’s just coincidence that Obama’s reelection slogan “forward” is so similar to the “lean forward” slogan of msnbc. They are like the official obama infomercial channel.

  • A reader in Colorado

    And you should write more on this. It’s time to go back and fix the moral wrong that was done during the election by leaving people left out by the ACA without any voice at all, by Democrats and Obama defenders, some of them RIGHT HERE.

    I can think of no one better to do that, that remembering the fallen and the to-fall, than you.

  • A reader in Colorado

    It’s Democrat TV. Because my dad watches it 24/7. All I get to hear in the background is Democrat TV. All day, every day. 7 days a week. 12 hours a day (my dad watches the same Democrat TV shows OVER AGAIN). Without end.

    And they make the same talking points and pull out the same stable hands throughout the day, over and over again, all day, every day.. Using stablehands like Ed “I’m a progressive, ignore that bankerpac I’m a member of” Rendell.

  • ezpz

    Countries with ‘strong unions’ and no drones…

  • ezpz

    And PS: I also remember how often we were told that the reason that obamacare was so unpopular was because of a messaging problem. The administration and their bots didn’t promote it well, didn’t play up the ‘good’ parts of the bill, and so many of the blogs, as well as the msnbc operatives took it upon themselves to try to ‘sell’ it.

    And with the recent secret-ish (not posted on the president’s schedule) meeting between 0bama and ‘influential progressives’ like Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz, Lawrence O’Donnell, Al Sharpton, etc., I can’t help but wonder what their new assignment is now. As I said yesterday, MSNBC is no better than Fox.


  • ezpz

    Yup. And we were warned that one of the many hazards of a President Romney would be that he would repeal obamacare, and as a result, so many would be left to die because, y’know, they wouldn’t have these unaffordable, unregulated, un-standardized, health insurance policies that surely would have saved their lives – NOT!

    Sad, that no one mentioned how many will be left to die BECAUSE of obamacare, not to mention how many will STILL go bankrupt because of the mandate and the likely high premiums/deductibles/copays, especially for those with pre-existing conditions. I say ‘likely’ because we still don’t know the details; Nancy Pelosi was wrong when she said that in order to know what’s in the bill, it had to be signed into law. What she SHOULD have said, was: you’ll know what’s in the law/bill when it goes into effect in 2014, well after the presidential election, and probably after the midterm elections.

  • A reader in Colorado

    And, btw, if you’re on our side, let’s stop hearing that Obamacare is a start, and what to do to fix it or finish it or whatever the hell needs to be done with it. I’m sick of hearing how it’s a start. The abortion that is Obamacare leaves me with no medical care, because nothing it does helps me at all. I personally think it screwed us for a generation.

  • A reader in Colorado

    I meant it literally, though not of GP personally necessarily (I haven’t read any of his posts where he might have done that exact thing). People here were selling the ACA in the context of Obama’s reelection, talking about how it was a “start” and acting churlish about the lives the various sellouts cost. Not wanting to even hear it.

    And now it’s immoral to raise the Medicare to age 67?

    Sure is. But Obamacare is immoral for the lives left in the dirt. And those selfsame people couldn’t be bothered by that when they wanted Obama reelected – and it’s more than one person.

    Somehow the moral indignation at that is rather convenient, and, I think, temporary, until the great one makes his decision. Then it will be time to defend Obama again, and when that happens, everything else goes out the window, and to hell with all those lives.

  • A reader in Colorado

    I’ve been told not to name names, that it’s “ad hominem” and that I’m being rude.

    But it is true, read the blog you post on. I wasn’t pointing a finger at you personally or even trying to do that by commenting to the air.

    The only comment I can make is a general one. But it is true of the blog. Go back and read the old posts sometime.

  • ezpz

    GP, I know you didn’t direct this to me, and I’m only speaking on my own behalf, as A reader in Colorado can certainly speak for himself, but if I may:

    In advocating for Obama’s reelection, as you certainly did, then intentionally or not, you also advocated for Obamacare, as the two cannot be separated.

  • GaiusPublius

    I appreciate the anger, reader, but I have to say, re this:

    But doncha know, Americablog tells us, support Obama and the ACA, because although it lets people die, Obamacare is a start, and we must reelect the great one!

    That’s just not true. It’s certainly not true of my own writing. I’m not going to write more on this, but these generalizing comments aren’t helpful. You have more people with you than you realize, at least on this issue.


  • Naja pallida

    The entire supply-side economic theory is counter to the common good. It is, quite literally, institutionalized selfishness, which offers absolutely no incentive to contribute to the public welfare.

  • ezpz

    Actually, I don’t think ‘mediocre’ describes him. I take that to mean as not being too impactful – in either direction, good or bad. No, he will have (and already HAS) negatively impacted many, and as “A reader in Colorado” said:

    “…Obama signed the death warrants of millions of Americans long before this.

    Between that and his kill list, he will go down as one of the cruelest presidents ever. “A wolf in sheep’s clothing” doesn’t even describe him, because a wolf is probably kinder.

  • Naja I believe that ‘the common good’ went South with Clinton, who embraced much of the Reagan economic theories, starting with NAFTA.

  • Couldn’t agree more Gaius. I would be very happy with a 90% income tax on incomes above 1 million, no taxs on income lower than 25K and 16% on all corporate income and the abolishing of all corporate welfare.

  • That’s why I didn’t vote for the bastard or any blue dogs. I can still hear the hook-line and sinker of “The lesser of two evils,” while Demos marched right of the cliff holding hands with Obots and singing ‘Kumbaya.’

  • Obama has absolutely no moral problems about causing death. Look at his assassination and drone policies.

  • A thousand likes and very angry shout outs here!

  • Obama began with a backdoor sell out and with the possible exception of state sanctioned assassinations will go down in history as a rather mediocre president only a few steps away from Clinton and Bush,

  • The lesser evil at work. JFC! I’m so sick of Obama and will probably get sicker.

  • ezpz

    Obviously, I share your sentiments completely.
    I’m beyond angry, beyond sad, disgusted, exasperated, afraid…

  • Naja pallida

    Oh, the middle class will be getting a bone… but not that kind.

  • A reader in Colorado

    Don’t I know it.

  • Naja pallida

    Politico has actually improved over the last couple years. At one point they looked like they were going to go the way of WorldNetDaily, but someone pulled in the reins and while still right leaning in many areas, they have generally not been psychotically so.

  • Naja pallida

    That was what we were told by the Obots. It was a start. Except, it isn’t. It’s an end. It effectively made any health care legislation a poison pill that Congress won’t want to go near for another generation. How many people re going to die by that time because of it?

  • A reader in Colorado

    If you won’t laugh, I will. I’m entitled to laugh. I’m probably going to personally die because of the Obamacare abortion.

    But doncha know, Americablog tells us, support Obama and the ACA, because although it lets people die, Obamacare is a start, and we must reelect the great one!

    At all the little Obama supporters and their false pragmatism and their half-a-loaf arguments. PHAW!

    Obamabots. Accusing others of courting death while supporting a a law for political reasons that by its deliberate failure to actually insure health care for everyone, will spell death for millions of Americans.

    We already know, because we already know what the deductibles will be and what the insurance will cost. We don’t have to guess. It’s another Obamabot ACA defender lie that we just don’t know what the exchanges will do.

    We already do, because we already know what the charges will be. And people who couldn’t afford those charges before won’t be able to afford them because of Obama. Obama signed the death warrants of millions of America long before this.

    We don’t “just don’t know if the exchanges will work,”, ACA defenders right on this blog in front page posters continue to say.

    Yeah we do. The medically indigent will remain the medically indigent, and people will die. The working poor will die. Oh, yeah, and they’ll be fined for the privilege. That’s a difference from before.

    So, yeah, raising the Medicare eligibility age is all part of a piece. And you knew that, and I knew that, and everyone like us, and we were SHUSHED because, Obama. We were told, “well, I suppose you think nothing would have been better”.

    No, for some of us, there is nothing, and nothing. And they, the Obamabots, for whom Obama was THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERED, now care about the Medicare retirement age? They didn’t give a shit about the people who were left with absolutely nothing but a fine, and to be left on the side of the road dead.

    They don’t and never did care about people without health care, and for those who the ACA will leave naked. They cared about their own skins, their prices for eye drops, their own pre-existing conditions.

  • Naja pallida

    Unfortunately, that is one thing that Democrats have been absolutely and utterly miserable at. They have never been able to effectively link taxes to the common good, to a functioning government, nor even to simply helping people understand that their taxes pay for the school their child is in, or to pave that street in front of their house. People never get beyond seeing the dysfunction, the waste, and the selfishness of Congress to even consider the greater good. Every time the Republicans put down a tax-based rake, the Democrats dutifully step on it – that is when they aren’t just simply agreeing with the Republicans, which is far too often for the common good as well.

  • Ford Prefect

    Indeed. Such is the success of the Propaganda State. On the Democratic side, we see very similar behaviors. “Obama is the most progressive president since….(insert inappropriate historical figure here)”

    All of this is enabled by establishment media which now reports opinions as “facts,” never calling out liars as liars, because that’s against the rules. In this media-rich environment, it’s almost impossible to escape the daily tsunami of bullshit, which helps people focus on Hot Button issues to the detriment of all others. This is why my TV is off most of the time.

    Pavlov would be amazed at our national discourse. It’s easy to get people to ignore their own interests. Just ring a little partisan bell and watch the slobbering commence.

  • lynchie

    It is why the system is broken. You elect politicians for various reasons-lesser of two evils, believe his lies, like his hair, incumbent for years, etc. The politician is then “supposed” to represent all the voters in his district to the best of his ability.
    In Michigan they voted for a Republican (whose entire party is for eradicating the unions) so is anyone surprised when they set out to eradicate the unions? I have no sympathy for people who continue to vote against their own best interests. This past election we saw behind the curtain. The l%, the 47%, the takers, etc., etc. and 47% of Americans still voted for them. I asked a neighbor, 68 year old male right winger why he voted Republican he said abortion and illegal immigrants. I said do you have anyone in your family who is of child bearing age-answer no. do you know of any or anyone who knows of any illegal immigrants or who has been effected by an illegal immigrant–answer no. So I said what the fuck do you care it does not in any way touch your life. But you voted Republican and they want to take away your Medicare and SS and any other things they can take. His answer–I never thought of that. Christ on a cracker-Stupid!

  • A reader in Colorado

    Still think the Obama ought to have been defended about the ACA because it was a “start”? Not to do anything to improve it, except in the theoretical sense, but it was a “start”.



    ::derisive laughter, fade out::

  • Ford Prefect

    You might have a point if Politico was reporting something new, which is to say something we didn’t already know about. But since all they are doing is confirming something already known, smearing (however legitimately) the outlet has no importance.

    The simple fact remains as it always has with the administration: all conclusions will benefit the Right, because they are Rightists whose goals are all of the RW variety.

    But if you don’t think Politico is legit, then please visit Kevin Drum at the ostensibly left-wing Mother Jones, who actually comes out and says slashing SS is “good for liberals.”

  • NCMan

    Politico is a right-wing conservative organization that is run by Jim VanDeHeHaw (isn’t that what they called him on Sat Night Live wen they did the sketch about Al Sharpton’s MSNBC show?). Why would anyone expect them to come to any other conclusion than one that favors the right?

  • ComradeRutherford

    Obama has only ever worked for the Republican Party. Just look at his record as President: his crowning achievement was passing the extremist-right health care ‘reform’ which was written by the Heritage Foundation in the late 1980s.

  • ComradeRutherford

    Just leave me my medicare, medicaid, food stamps and social security and I’ll be fine with no help from nobody.

  • ComradeRutherford

    Now, now everyone calm down.

    If there’s one thing that is proven by past experience is that Obama will always sell out the Democratic Party’s core values to the GOP and get nothing in return.

  • GaiusPublius

    Thanks. I appreciate where the comment is coming from, but I’d go differently. I like taxes and want more of them. What R’s have done is make taxes toxic. Link taxes and the common good and you’ve got a plan. But taxes are essential, and taxing the right groups appropriately is not something I want to hide from.

    Just a thought…


  • Ford Prefect

    Ask any politician or his/her top staff who just won an election if they care what people “really voted for” and they’ll tell you this: “They voted in support of our policy agenda. We now have a MANDATE to enact our agenda.”

    Sorry, but you can’t vote for someone who’s policy preferences are the opposite of yours and expect them to understand you were just voting against the other person. That’s not the way this stuff works. That’s why the WH likes to trot out the old “mandate” thingie when they win.

    When Americans voted for Obama, they voted for HIS agenda and no one else’s. That’s the way any administration will always interpret that support. Still, liberals think they can have it both ways: elect a corrupt Neo-Liberal and somehow get “liberal” results. The stupidity of this is truly amazing.

  • Ford Prefect

    If only they defined “entitlements” the way you do. Sadly, they don’t.

  • nicho

    The only countries capable of a general strike are those with strong unions — which is one of the reasons the unions in the US had to be destroyed.

  • ezpz

    John Walker from fdl:

    How Obama May Use Obamacare to Make Most Americans Worse Off

    When it comes to properly judging a major piece of legislation such as the Affordable Care Act, it is important not just to examine what the law does, but also what else the law allows Congress and the President to do as a result. In this case, the passage of the ACA has made President Obama open to the idea of raising the Medicare eligibility age as part of a deficit deal. If Obama agrees to this it will very likely mean that the net effect of the passage of Obamacare will make you and most Americans personally worse off…


  • nicho

    I’m fine with them cutting entitlements — as long as they leave the Social Security and Medicare insurance programs alone. They can go after entitlements like Congressional pensions, other perks, the lavish lifestyle of the military brass, Air Force One, Two and Three, etc etc etc.

  • ezpz

    I have to take issue with your last sentence. This progressive, along with many others, never ‘imagined’ what you say. We saw it for what it was: corporate welfare at our expense. Literally.

    And we also saw that not only was it NOT a step “toward less privatization”, but it took us so much further away from the single payer system that most civilized nations have, that it will be nearly impossible to ever get there when you have govt and rapacious industry working together – and against the common good of the people.

    I’ve had many a debate, both online and in person, with the so called *progressives* you describe. I saw what was coming when it was just in the talking stages, and there was no doubt in my mind that it was a fait accompli before a single vote was cast.

    It gives me no satisfaction to say ‘I told you so’. None at all. It’s really just exasperating that so few saw (or refused to see past partisan lenses) this for what it was right from the beginning when maybe, just maybe, it could have been stopped.

    And re Dennis Kucinich, many have said, and I tend to agree, that maybe he and/or his family were somehow threatened on that infamous plane ride. Indirectly of course. Maybe they just showed him footage from Paul Wellstone’s plane. Don’t mean to get all conspiracy theory here, but I believe it was more than just a deal that changed Kucinich’s mind.

    I’m afraid that this back door privatization of medicare is also a fait accompli. And while I appreciate your attention and efforts on this, sadly, It will take much more than contacting our senators/reps/president. Much, MUCH more.

  • cambridgemac

    Democrats like taxes??? Linking “taxes” and Democrats’s a Republican meme. This is a total win for Republicans. Social justice and The Common Good are Democratic goals and values. Not “winning on taxes.” Obama is the Republican Trojan Horse.

  • So the Bush tax cuts expire on the wealthy, kind of, since they won’t go all the way back to the Clinton levels. The middle class gets a bone, by bone I mean dry with no meat on it, and then the working class and elderly have to turn around and take a good swift kick in the a$$ on medicare and social security.
    If that’s the deal I’m going to start voting for the most demented taebaggers I can find, it’s what you end up with anyway, let’s just get it over with.

  • cambridgemac

    Identifying Democrats and “taxes” with each other is a Republican meme. This is a total loss for Dems. Social justice and The Common Good should be the Democratic frame. Obama is the Republicans’ Trojan Horse.

  • mirror

    I don’t get it. Republicans compromise and achieve progress on one of their long term policy goals. Democrats compromise and begin dismantling one of their greatest past policy accomplishments while making progress on no long term Democratic party policy goals. If this is Obama’s policy goal, than what party is he working for?

  • caphillprof

    This fiscal cliff nonsense would never fly in a country capable of a general strike.

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