Had enough gnashing of teeth regarding the debt ceiling deal? Looking for something to pick you up before you take a running jump off the nearest short pier (or cliff)? Tired of listening to the heart-rending wailing and lamentations of your fellow liberals, progressives, etc. — not to mention Obama bashing — that’s been going on across the leftosphere the past few hours? Yeah, me too. Which is why I present the following links, and a bit of a pep talk (courtesy of John Belushi in “Animal House”), for your perusal.
1. Courtesy of The Liberal Lamp Post (cross-posted on Daily Kos): “3 Big Victories for Obama & Dems in Debt Ceiling Fight – Republicans Just Trying to Save Face”. The argument: “on the surface, Dems didn’t get Republicans to open their tight fists and offer any revenue. But the devil’s in the details.” After presenting the details, “Liberal Gal Blog” concludes:
Obama protected entitlements and ensured via trigger cuts that favor Democrats that any final plan would have to be balanced – which means it would have to include revenue. IF somehow that goal is not reached, the Bush tax cuts would be set to expire.
Moreover, taking 40% of current cuts from defense – and potentially 50% of second-round cuts from defense – is unprecedented and it shows negotiation-room cajones (for lack of a more descriptive word).
So, what we’ve arrived at is a thinly veiled Grand Bargain (judging by the numbers, the triggers, and the political positioning) – and that adds up to a victory for the President and Democrats.
Just to be clear, I’m not thrilled with this deal. However, freaking out is not going to get us anywhere, nor is knee-jerk reacting, based on what the news media’s telling us, and based on our own fears of what “devil” could be in the “details” of this deal. Also, I’d point out that regardless of how we feel about this debt deal, life goes on. Unless we plan on ceding the country to the Teahadists, we need to blow off whatever steam we need to blow off, then get back in the game.
Which brings us to the most important point by Liberal Gal Blog: “the undeniable importance of VOTING in your next – and every – election.” And that, in turn, brings us to…
2. Calm down about the unimportant debt ceiling deal by “blue aardvark” on Daily Kos (the #1 recommended diary right now). The argument: even if “you think this deal is horrible, and Obama’s a sellout, and sacred cows A, B, C are being sacrificed,” you need to “Use your anger for good,” which means fighting back. How? First off: defeat Republicans. Second, fight to take back the House in 2012!!! Third: organize, organize, organize – and do NOT stop fighting. What should we organize to do, exactly? Elect progressives. Strengthen the progressive movement. Retake the House of Representatives. Keep control of the Senate and White House in 2012, but also change the reward/punishment calculus of these people, so that they can’t so easily disregard progressives, liberals, and the rest of their “base” again.
Don’t like those options? Well, then, what are our other choices exactly? Give up, and let the Tea Party and its extremist allies like Boehn-head and Can’tor take total power? Vote Republican in 2012? (yeah, right!) Stay home in 2012 and guarantee that Republicans take charge of all three branches of the federal government (including a conservative Supreme Court majority for the next generation or so), just as staying home in 2009 helped us SOOOOO much here in Virginia (not)!!! Personally, I’m going to fight, even if it’s in the sense of “going down fighting.” Anyone care to join John Belushi and me?