Dem Base Fears Obama Sellout

obama olympain

President Barack Obama jokingly mimics U.S. Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney. (Photo: Pete Souza)

In the closing weeks of the campaign I was privately approached by a number of voices for the Democratic base who were extremely concerned that President Obama, if reelected, might sell them out on issues of fundamental importance. I urged them to maintain their strong support for the president, avoid public criticism shortly before an election we could have lost with catastrophic consequences, and worry about this later.

They did, to their eternal credit. The president won. Liberals won. Labor won. Defenders of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the safety net won. Champions of fairness for women won. Because of them, the Democrats won. And today many of these people are deeply and profoundly worried, far more than media reports suggest.

While I admire Paul Krugman, and usually agree with him, he is far too casual when he downplays the danger of America falling off the fiscal cliff. I believe there will be a solution. There must be. It would be a catastrophe for the economy if there is not.

There are ways to save money on entitlements that reject direct cuts to benefits, reject hidden cuts to benefits through manipulations in cost-of-living adjustments and reject raising eligibility ages. Entitlements should be part of a broader agreement but MUST involve savings that reduce costs while maintaining fairness. Champions of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security won the election. Those who would attack or privatize these programs lost.

Let the Norquist pledge rest in peace. Let those who have the most do their part. Let government by gridlock end. But let the president and all Democrats remember that it is not a fair trade to trade a minimal sacrifice by those who have the most and have profited enormously in the last decade, in return for heaping more pain on the backs of those who endured pain during the last decade. That is not a fair trade. That is not the idea that won the last election. It is the idea that lost.

Brent BudowskyMy hope and expectation is that the president fully understands this. Many of those who worked their hearts out and won the last election are increasingly concerned today, a concern that would be ignored at great political peril.

Brent Budowsky
The Hill

Tuesday, 27 November 2012


  1. JoeWeinstein says

    Like commenter dusty I find that the article is BS, but especially for a reason he doesn’t address – the article’s pretentious concluding sentence: ‘Many of those who worked their hearts out and won the last election are increasingly concerned today, a concern that would be ignored at great political peril.’

    This verbiage is meant to sound deeply meaningful, but actually what DOES it mean? Its use of passive voice (‘would be ignored’) seems calculated to avoid straight-out answering two key questions: Just who would do the ‘ignoring’, and just who would suffer ‘great political peril’?

    It seems that if Budowsky has anyone at all in mind it’s most likely Obama. But in that case the sentence becomes quite fallacious.

    What, anyhow, is ‘political peril’? Does it mean the threat of not being re-elected? Well, for Obama non-re-election is just a given fact, not a worrisome threat. For Democratic folks in the House and some in the Senate the threat may be real, but what will they actually do about it in terms of pressing Obama? If Obama’s first term is any guide, little or nothing.

    The most serious ‘political peril’ – from impeachment – conceivably could occur if a few of the most reasonable and least idiotically partisan Republicans insisted on a real and thorough and not-obviously-biased investigation of Benghazi or of needless American deaths from Iran-supported kill-Americans terror groups in Afghanistan. However, even after proving their case they would find it very hard to get Obama impeached for CYA lying or for substantial and outrageous failures to protect USA diplomats or to respond militarily and effectively to Iran’s 30-year proxy war against the Great Satan USA. After all, as good ‘family-values’ Republicans should know, needlessly dead USA diplomats or USA troops are nowhere as serious a matter as stuff like Monica’s chaperoning a Bill Clinton jerk-off.

    Or does ‘political peril’ mean the alleged threat to Obama of his agenda not being taken seriously? That fate has already happened to Obama, but that gives him no worry, for two reasons. (1) the voters have just given him a pass because his opponent was equally or even more incredible; and (2) anyhow he doesn’t have much of an agenda that he actually cares much about, so he really has nothing to lose.

    And, to top it all off, his main evident ‘political’ aims have anyhow already been achieved or are in sight. Early on he got his Nobel Peace Prize gratis, for showing up ‘with promise’, and surely he and we can look forward to another big lavish Presidential Library in or near some home-town tony academic place – be it U-of I-Chicago or U-of-Chicago or Northwestern.

  2. dusty says

    This is another bullcrap article produced by someone who doesn’t understand, probably because he was never a unionized worker who had to negotiate a decent life, that you never put on the table things that you have already won such as social security and medicare. These programs and other social programs are not the cause of the deficit but it is the needless wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and now Syria (convert warfare) and our bloated military that have brought us the deficits. And the cap on SS and Medicare taxes that needs to be removed so that the wealthy pay on all their gains in wealth. Brent Budowsky should know better than to confuse apples and oranges but he falls into the trap of wanting to love up to the GOP enemies of the poor and working people of this nation — the party that uses racism and sexism to divide the people in their quest for legislative victories and seats in the Senate and House.

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