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November 17, 2007


From (according to the LA Times) "Nevada's best-known progressive blog," here's a description of the aftermath of the Democratic debate:

In the spin room later, Nevada state Sen. Steven Horsford, an Obama guy, predicted that the Social Security issue could become a "centerpiece" of the campaign going forward. That's probably a tad optimistic. But Obama is clearly right. And Clinton's strategy on Social Security, both in the campaign and as a matter of policy, clearly does not extend much beyond whispering the occasional sweet nothing.

Splendid. Also splendid is the failure of types like me to explain to many people with decent instincts that they're being played on Social Security, just like they were played with Saddam's Terrifying Weapons Of Mass Destruction.

Hillary Clinton has sometimes done an okay job on this, if you leave aside her warnings that Obama wants to hike taxes by one TRILLION dollars. Here she is recorded recently by Time:


I've said, these are Republican talking points. Social Security is not in crisis. Health care's in crisis. Medicare's in crisis. The energy—climate change is a crisis. And I'm not going to be repeating Republican talking points...

Why are Democrats having this debate? Democrats should be rejecting the premise of this debate. That's what we successfully did when we took Bush on with privatization. We said, "It's not in crisis. We're not going to play this game. You're trying to undermine and destroy Social Security."

So I feel very comfortable with where I am. And for the life of me I don't understand what my opponents are trying to achieve. There are a couple of folks who might give them an atta-boy, but when it comes down to it, let's focus on health care, Medicare, energy and all these other issues...

Believe me, no one is more horrified than I am to celebrate Hillary Clinton's stance on something. But there it is. Vote Cthulhu.

Posted at November 17, 2007 02:35 PM | TrackBack

So there is only one logical reason why Obama is doing this. He knows he can't beat Hillary and he has already been unofficially cut off the ticket as Vice Pres. Forcing the debate to be around the terms that establishment republicans want will give him free press. Hillary will have to offer him something he wants to get him to shut up, or get loud and cogent about the left positions she has which will scare her own donor base.

It's mean spirited of Obama, but he really wants that VP seat apparently.

Posted by: patience at November 17, 2007 03:56 PM

So there is only one logical reason why Obama is doing this.

I wouldn't count on there being some logical, intricate plan behind his actions. Horrifyingly enough, he probably believes he's actually being a bold leader doing the right thing, AND that it's good politics.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at November 17, 2007 04:24 PM

AS long as the SS TAX IS COLLECTED, then the Clients WILL be paid. The monies collected TODAY pay for the Social Security Checks for TODAY. ALL EXTRA is 'lent' to the federal govt.(SS Act)
Should for some unknown or unforseeable reason, an agent of the Social Security Administration DOES NOT show up to collect out of that workers pocket, then even I will admit to a "problem". As long as the SSTAX is collected there is NO problem.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at November 17, 2007 07:17 PM

Okay so Hillary is saying something that is true that social security is not in crisis but what about the deaths of the Iraqi people that are occurring even as I write this. Hillary is not going to end the occupation so where do we draw the line? If the people that have decent instincts vote for Hillary Clinton they are voting to continue the slaughter in Iraq as well. What is more important – social security or the continuing blood bath in Iraq? Perhaps this is one of my dumber comments but isn’t this something that needs to be thought about by everyone as well?

Posted by: rob payne at November 17, 2007 08:45 PM

rob payne: Pottery Barn Rules--WE're not leaving Iraq anytime soon, but WE CAN avoid a war with Iran. (IMPEACH 1-202-225-0100)

Posted by: Mike Meyer at November 17, 2007 09:24 PM

rp: yes, but believe it or not, american finanicial systems make or break worldwide conflict

Posted by: hapa at November 17, 2007 10:05 PM

Mike, agreed that we will not be leaving Iraq anytime soon but that does not mean I have to support the people who should be stopping it but won’t. If Hillary gets the nomination I will not vote for her. I also agree that impeachment would be the best way to stop the impending attack on Iran but because of leaders like Clinton that won’t happen. Pelosi is useless or less than worse than useless which brings to mind all those Dem campaign promises to end the Iraq war who instead are now funding it which brings up another point, you can’t believe what Clinton says. By the way counterpunch has a three part history of Hillary and it is worth a read.
Here is the link to part 3, it has links to the first two parts at the end.

Posted by: rob payne at November 17, 2007 10:08 PM

Hapa, indeed and the dollar is losing ground to the Euro and with the cost of the Iraq War my best guess is that our imperial enterprises will come to a halt as America finally runs out of money. However that probably won’t mean much to all the dead folk.

Posted by: rob payne at November 17, 2007 10:15 PM

you can't stop all the killing

the killing went on for another million after the soviets left afghanistan

Posted by: hapa at November 17, 2007 10:49 PM

Honestly, I have no faith in any politician when it comes to foreign policy. Not even Kucinich or Ron Paul or whoever. They're all going to do the same shit, they're all going to bend over backwards to avoid even one lone voice accusing them of being soft on terrorism or not supporting the troops or whatever. So honestly, the only differences I can see come down to domestic policy.

I would posit that anyone who thinks that voting for Obama or Edwards or Mike Gravel will bring our troops home has been duped.

Posted by: David Grenier at November 18, 2007 10:44 AM

As to WHY Obama would persist in his moronic, foolish parroting of the Big Lie about Social Security - maybe he does think it's good politics AND bold leadership AND "doing the right thing", but there is evidence to the contrary. At The Daily Howler, Bob Somerby praises Paul Krugman's takedown of "the Beltway" Social Security worldview, exemplified by an exchange between Tim Russert and Chris Matthews. Somerby quotes Krugman:

"But the 'everyone' who knows that Social Security is doomed doesn’t include anyone who actually understands the numbers. In fact, the whole Beltway obsession with the fiscal burden of an aging population is misguided."

But Somerby goes beyond Krugman, and does something far beyond stenography - he looks up what Obama said about Social Security in his 2006 book The Audacity of Hope - and discovers that in this book, Obama said the same things that he is now attacking Clinton for saying. This reminds Somerby very much of the "high-minded" attacks Bill Bradley made on Gore during the 1999-2000 primary campaign, which were then echoed in the general election by the corporate media branch of the MICFiC [Military-Industrial-Congressional-Financial Complex). Bradley told the truth about Gore in a 1997 book, then began to lie during the campaign - just as Obama told the truth about Social Security in his 2006 book, and his attacking Hillary now for saying what he said last year, and as recently as this past May on the tv show This Week.

So Jon, as much as you, and I, and every fair-minded liberal of predominantly European descent wants to give Sen. Obama the benefit of the doubt - I think the preponderance of the evidence is in the direction that Somerby has indicated.

In the struggle between Clinton and Obama, to say that Obama is wrong and Clinton right on this issue is NOT to say that one should support Clinton for President. But if one wants to end the occupation of Iraq, there is not a dime's worth of difference between Clinton and Obama - both will continue the occupation (which serves the interests of MANY factors of the MICFiC, including the weapons makers, Big Oil and the Likud Lobby) until the Iraqis themselves, perhaps with the aid of their brothers and sisters in struggle, drive the invaders from their soil. And in terms of preventing the destruction of Social Security, the advantage is to Clinton.

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at November 18, 2007 11:44 AM

rob payne: The IDEA IS TO FORCE Congress, by way of THE SPEAKER, to IMPEACH. And WE have 14 months. Not worth a try, is it rob? Can't be bothered? Owe the phone company too much? Can't remember the number? Don't realize what nation you live in and the CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR INDECISION.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at November 18, 2007 02:47 PM

There is definitely something to be said for voting for a triangulating candidate who is no stranger to our incredibly corrupt political system in this time.

Posted by: atheist at November 19, 2007 03:18 PM

There is definitely something to be said for voting for a triangulating candidate who is no stranger to our incredibly corrupt political system in this time.

Posted by: atheist at November 19, 2007 03:19 PM