Here’s Sen. Chuck Schumer of my newly adopted state of New York, regarding these ongoing negotiations:
The [Paul] Ryan budget proposed a decimation of Medicare and Medicaid. We successfully fought that back. And we are going to continue our fight, and I think the base of our party knows this, that there should be no benefit cuts in Medicare or Medicaid. These are programs [where] certainly there can be savings brought from Medicare and Medicaid, because there is waste and duplication and inefficiency and all of that. But the benefits to people who really need it should not be cut. And that is a fight that we have been making quite successfully … and we are going to continue to make it in these negotiations.
Yeah, but you’re fighting them off on this issue right at the tower. You guys should not be near the need for boiling oil on issues like Medicare and Social Security. These were for eons considered as “third rail” issues in American politics. Just a few years ago, a President banked a lot of political capital on the issue of Social Security, and it cost him pretty dearly. These issues should not be within hundreds of miles of being touched. Yet you’ve got these jackals at the gates regarding them.
Just that you’re having to fight tooth and nail for Medicare and/or Social Security is a retreat.
I don’t know why I thought that Democrats would start putting up their dukes for a change. But they won’t; they just continue to cede mile after mile in this inexplicably one-sided land war. We’re here because conservagoats haven’t just worked to change policy; they’ve worked to alter the paradigm. Now, it’s all downhill to the castle gates, so here we are with the big cauldron of grease on the fire.
We should not be having to fight so hard right now to protect Medicare. We should be having to fight like hell to protect American jobs. But I think it’s pretty clear at this point that the Democrats will continue to cheer for small victories that are actually tremendous losses.