Not once does the editorial so much as wag a pinkie finger at President Obama. It embraces the same tired old canard that fear and timidity are at the root of inaction by the erstwhile party of the people:
That’s particularly evident in the Senate, which the party controls. Last week, Democrats had a rare opportunity to change the Senate’s rules by majority vote and reduce the routine abuse of the filibuster by Republicans, which has allowed a minority to slow progress to a crawl. But there weren’t enough Democrats to support real reform, so a disappointing half-measure was approved. The reason was fear: Fear that they might return to the minority one day, fear that a weakened filibuster might hurt them, fear that Republicans might change the rules to the disadvantage of Democrats if they regain a majority.
Come on. Do you really think Harry Reid and his cabal would have signed off on watered-down reform unless they got the big thumbs-up from The Boss? Here is my published comment:
President Obama is the leader of the Democratic Party. Not Harry Reid. Not Max Baucus.
Liberal groups were rightly upset about the pathetic filibuster deal. Republicans were rightly pleased. But then, so was Obama! Here's what he said about continued gridlock and failure of the Congress to follow the will of the people for the next several years:
"In my State of the Union last year, I urged Congress to take steps to fix the way they do business. … And today, I am pleased that a bipartisan group of senators has agreed to take action."
Reid never would have made this tepid agreement without the president's okay. You have to conclude that the president's goal for the next four years is to be seen as trying to get things done, and then conveniently being able to blame Republicans when they don't get done. Meanwhile he is backing down on his promise in another past State of the Union -- to fight against the Citizen United decision.
Not only that. He now even has his own 501(C)(4) fund-raising machine, Organizing for Action. It is touted as a grassroots successor to his campaign apparatus, but it is also accepting anonymous corporate donations in order to "further the President's agenda." Why more liberals are not expressing shock and outrage at what amounts to an influence-peddling scheme by a sitting president is beyond me.
The inability of the Democrats to "get things done" may well be more cynical ploy than a sign of weakness. Follow the money.Actually, a few liberal groups have been expressing outrage and demanding that Obama shut down his slush fund. From The Hill:
Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, this week said Obama should shut the group down “and remain true to the repeated warnings he has given the nation about the dangers of corporate influence-money and business as usual in Washington.”
Organizing for Action has pledged to reveal its donors to the public, and as a nonprofit group, can accept unlimited contributions from corporations, unions and wealthy individuals.
Former Rep. Bob Edgar (D-Pa.), the president of Common Cause, said Organizing for Action would be an avenue for special interests to gain access to the White House.
“I think labor is going to give to them. Corporations are going to give to them. Huge wealthy donors are going to give to them. They have no problem with that being known and will want to call up the White House for access,” Edgar said.Labor unions, meanwhile, are holding on to their pocketbooks, waiting to see what Obama does about such inhumane ideas as Chained CPI for the sole purpose of further impoverishing Social Security recipients. They will not donate, they vow, if the president turns against the working stiff. You don't say!
Here is what my cynical little mind thinks about the rationale behind government by passive aggression. By prearrangement, filibuster reform fails. Obama then sets himself up as lone crusader for the common man, entering full campaign mode as he endorses gun control (which absolutely horrifies Harry and Max). He goes on trips and energizes the crowds. Meanwhile, the White House directs the grassroots supporters to the OFA website where, right after they hit you up for money, you are urged to "have the president's back!" They even provide you with a script to recite when you call your congress critter to "demand action." Meanwhile, the lobbyists pour into Congress, and the bribery coffers are stuffed to bursting as the bickering and the gridlock prolong the lucrative process for as long as possible. The NRA is as generous to the Reid Democrats as it is to the Republicans, of course. Everybody applauds Gabby Giffords and she goes to the White House for a photo-op. The corporate media mouthpieces do their own propaganda duty, and the suffering masses are corraled into the arena to mindlessly root for either the Democratic "humanistic" home team or for the GOP militia movement.
You may think that you are taking a side. But you are really just a pawn in the Money Party's games of Divide and Conquer and Winner Take All. And the winner, people, will never be you as long as the PTBs have their way.
Ignore what they say and watch what they do. Follow the money, and then get mad. Get very, very mad. And above all, create your own scripts.