My latest letter to President Obama/Alan Simpson must go edition

I’m back, sort of, though still buried in start of term nonsense,
But just to dip my toe back in the water — here’s what I just shot off at on the subject of why those who hate you get so much love.  It amazes me still that the White House just doesn’t seem to get it.
Alan Simpson’s truth telling on  his view of Social Security is exactly what we need right now: the organizing incident that should allow us to let the voters know what a GOP return to power really means.
And yet, instead of fighting that good fight (and getting lots of folks like me revved up again– see below) as of now, President Obama seems content to accept the usual non-apology.  Stupid policy and stupid politics, all before breakfast.
Yes, I’m that grouchy.
Anyway — here’s what I wrote.  Feel free to express yourselves to 44 at this address.
Alan Simpson’s remarks about Social Security were offensive — no, strike that — brutally demeaning to all those in retirement scraping by, and to all those who work hard to understand the serious problems we face as a nation.
But that’s not the real problem, nor the reason I ask you to force Simpson off the committee.  Rather, it is his commitment, revealed again, but pursued over decades, to destroy the entire Social Security system, rather than to reform it as needed.
Look — I get emails daily from President Obama, from OfA, from all kinds of folks, asking me to renew the extraordinary effort I put out to create the kind of country I believe we need in 2008.  I spent more than I had, and I took weeks off my job to pound on doors in New Hampshire for candidate Obama and the rest of the Democratic ticket.
Now you want me to sign up again — and yet you give a position of enormous influence and some real power to a man who stands against everything I stand for.
You gotta make a choice.  You want me — and by extension the Democrats who view government as a crucial tool in building a better society — to pony up time and cash this year?  Then choose sides now.
Simpson has to go, both for substantive reasons and because the one thing we all need now the most is a reason to get out into the fight again before November.  Trust me:  it’s good for all kinds of reasons to take a stand against those who stand against you.
Make it happen.
Tom Levenson

Image:  Paulus Potter, Four Cows in a Meadow 1651.

Explore posts in the same categories: Democratic knavery, Economic follies, Republican knavery, Stupidity

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13 Comments on “My latest letter to President Obama/Alan Simpson must go edition”

  1. It’s like hiring Mel Gibson to run NOW.

  2. I really, really don’t understand the utter lack of good political sense in the White House. They don’t even seem to know which side their bread is buttered on, much less that politics and policy are well aligned on this.

    Still, between disappointing and batshit insane, the choice is not difficult, just demoralizing.

  3. aimai Says:

    tom, you’ve really nailed it. This is *exactly* the letter I wanted to write. I’m on the same lists-I’m sure you’ve just gotten the helpful and expensive “giant map of the country with little post it notes” explaining how OFA is going to win the midterms?–is there anything more galling than being asked for help on the one hand, and shown the back of the party’s hand to your face on the other? I’m just in a staggering rage at the moment and I don’t know where to put it.


  4. KWillow Says:

    Amazing arrogance. WH believes they are The Only Game In Town for us Liberals.

    I’ll vote Green, or Independent, or Write In. White House and Obama can go sit on a tack.

  5. aimai Says:

    Don’t say that, Kwillow. We’ve really got no functional alternative. I was talking to a long time activist relative, someone who has struggled her whole life for the betterment of the world around her, and I found her surprisingly upbeat. The reason she was upbeat is that she never, for one moment, thought that we’d win through to radical progress with the help of people in power. So the whole Obama thing, though interesting, never even suggested to her for a moment that she would be able to down tools and stop struggling to help (in her case) the children of imprisoned people, the children of people living with AIDS, women prisoners living with AIDS, and etc…

    I really never thought the seas would part for Obama, or that he was the greatest thing since sliced bread. And I’m pretty ticked off that he can’t seem to do the things that a minimally competent corporate shill could/should do in order to simply stay in power. Even if you were on the side of the devils, corporately speaking, the right thing to do was to call in the Kochs and the banksters and say upfront what FDR is supposed to have said (or thought) which is “I’m the only thing between you and the lamposts and pitchforks, baby, so here’s how its going to be.” Hell, I would have tried to pass a law that radio personalities had their incomes taxed at ninety percent. What the hell.

    But when I remember that “twas ever thus” and the government is never, and never will be, on our side or in our hands I actually cheer up a bit. Then the whole voting and working for a candidate thing becomes more like a hobby. I mean, I might bet on two horses in a race but I’d never think I was taking one home and adopting it, you know?


  6. Ottovbvs Says:

    I’m one of the big guys greatest fans and let’s face it Alan Simpson is out of sight on his order of priorities, but those looking out for him politically (that’s you Rahm and David) do seem to display an astonishig tin ear to this sort of stuff. Maybe on the other hand Simpson’s just the token Republican and his views are’t going to have any impact when it gets down to the wire but imperilling the morale of his own army seems a high price to pay for the Simpson cover particularly since let’s face it his own army is a bit unrealistic at times.

    • aimai Says:

      If Simpson was just a republican put there for “cover” he was a hideously bad choice. The whole point of a public face to this commission was to create a public face–that is: the public is going to see it and be asked to trust it. If Obama/the dems don’t want to destroy social security that person had to be very, very, carefully picked to be both unimpeachable morally and fiscally and also *not a raving loon*. In other words this has nothing to do with whether Obama’s army is “a bit unrealistic at times” this has to do with the pivotal position Obama personally assigned to an asshole and a SS antagonist like Simpson. It was what the Balloon Juicers and other sports fans call an “unforced error”–totally uncessary and extremely dangerous. The fall out from this is huge because it is undermining Obama’s weak efforts to attack the Republicans for attempting to destroy social security. It is, and always was, a mindbogglingly stupid political mistake.

      I’ve given up thinking that Obama and his team are smart enough, or tough enough, to do what they need to do to just get over on the fucking electorate, let alone get the necessary legislation passed. They drop the ball on the simplest of things. As Doghouse riley said (I believe) in comments over at Alicublog the Senate and the House “can’t even figure out how to give money away any more”–that’s how bad things have gotten. Obama and the Dems can’t figure out how to sell firewood to eskimos and they sure can’t figure out how to make hay while the sun shines.

      Simpson should be terminated with extreme prejudice and if Obama and the Dems had any sense they would publicly terminate the entire SS “commitee” saying angrily “The Republicans *as usual* lied to us. They aren’t willing to do any serious work on deficit reduction and they don’t want to save social security. Talk about death panels! They want to force grandma and grandpa to move in with their unemployed grandchildren! They want to make sure that you spend *your* golden years begging in the streets for the necessary medical care you will require! We have to scrap this commission and start all over again with some actual intellects and serious people. We can’t do it until after the midterms and you will have to fight like hell to make sure we don’t lose the house and the senate.”

      How hard is that? and how necessary is that? Answer: its easy and its necessary. But they won’t do it. The morons.


  7. Tom Says:

    Actually, I was trying to reply to KWillow above, not Ottovbvs, to whom I would say “from your lips to the FSM’s ear.”

    • aimai Says:

      Well, I’m not sure I agree. I mean, I know that’s the Obama strategy–in fact there’s been some discussion of that on the blogs today after an interview somewhere with Axelrod. In other words, the Democrats are still using the strategy that Colbert pilloried when Kerry failed to fight back hard enough against the swiftboaters. He said (IIRC) “I was jumped last night by a drunk guy in an alley and he was beating me with his wine bottle. But I beat him! I let him keep hitting me as much as he wanted and eventually he knocked himself out.”

      “This thing” is going to sink like the titanic? The attack on Social Security is the zombie death march of the right wing and has been since the birth of the program. The fact that they haven’t managed to dent it yet isn’t a sign for rejoicing. We should be very worried, and very angry, that the Democrats haven’t figured out a way to shore up the ideology of the program. The Republicans have been undermining the intent and the morality of the program all these years. In 1822 the south was protesting the levying of taxes and tarriffs as unconstitutional–and a rump southern movement is still doing so but now spread out through all fifty states. Because we have failed to counter their ideology with our own.

      Every time Obama and the dems brush aside this stuff: he’s a muslim, social security is going to rich people, or undeserving people, etc…etc…etc… we are playing right into their hands. A lie uncountered is a lie believed, by someone. Liberalism and the entire democratic liberal project is being hurt by this kind of limp non defense. I don’t think Obama and his team are well served by people telling the liberal/left/democratic base that there’s “nothing to worry about” while allowing the enemies of liberalism and democracy to publicly tear down some of its greatest monuments.


  8. Tehanu Says:

    as always: what aimai says.

    Tom: great letter, I hope you don’t mind if I copy it.

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