Obama: Social Security & Medicare cuts are “very much (back) on the table”

It’s Tuesday, and Barack Obama has betrayed us again. And by “us” I mean not just progressives (of whom he is not), but also Democrats, the party that sells itself as the party of Roosevelt, Johnson and Kennedy. Of that party he also is not, except nominally.

Barack Obama is not a Democrat, he’s a “NeoDem,” in the same sense that Tony Blair isn’t Labour, he’s “New Labour.” New Labour means “not Labour” (memorize that) except for the deceptive candy coating. NeoDems are not Democrats; they’re servants of the wealthy. You know, just like Roosevelt, only … not.

It’s Tuesday, and Barack Obama has put Roosevelt’s Social Security and Johnson’s Medicare “back on the table” in the next round of Pete Peterson–sponsored “budget negotiations.” (Peterson should get naming rights. The “Peter Peterson Budget Negotiations” — brought to you by Starbucks, Whole Foods, and the people who put oil in your car; click to see their special sponsorship deal.)

From Obama’s most recent press conference (emphasis and square-bracket comments mine):

The proposals that I put forward during the fiscal cliff negotiations in discussions with Speaker Boehner and others are still very much on the table.  I just want to repeat:  The deals that I put forward, the balanced approach of spending cuts and entitlement reform and tax reform that I put forward are still on the table.

I’ve offered sensible reforms to Medicare and other entitlements, and my health care proposals achieve the same amount of savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms that have been proposed by the [my hand-picked] bipartisan Bowles-Simpson fiscal commission.

Not just on the table — very much on the table. He’s eager. There’s even some laughing and joking at this point with the cameramen. I don’t have the heart to quote it, but it’s in the official transcript.

It’s Tuesday, and Barack Obama has betrayed us again. Not this Obama:

That Obama was the happy by-product of a deceptive ad campaign (the 2008 presidential election) and much youthful optimism in kids of all ages. They were badly snookered, weren’t they, and many of them now know it.

I mean this Obama, the one who isn’t at all as he represents himself. Deeply deceptive Obama. Can’t-be-trusted Obama. Legacy-library Obama. Library-fundseeking Obama. NAFTA-on-steroids Obama. Keystone-is-next Obama.

Obama, Prince of Drones. That Obama — the one with all the exploitable vulnerabilities. (About that, if you threaten what a man wants, you will have his serious attention, and serious desire to trade.)

It’s Tuesday, and Barack Obama has betrayed us again. He’s playing hardball with us. Can we not at least return the favor? I’ve taken a vote here at La Maison, and the results are in. All of me agrees — Yes We Can. I know I’m not alone — many real progressives are with us. This really is a bridge too far, this kill-the-Roosevelt-legacy, even for many of the recently-dazzled by stardust and pixie fog.

There are ways to get at this, and many are working it. As I’ve said many times, their hubris is our friend, including Obama’s. All we need to be is bold, un-fogged, and willing to rinse that pixie dust from the eyes of our otherwise-progressive friends. This is miles from over.

Still, it’s Tuesday …


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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