Democratic Party Populist Or Stalking Horse?
We are in a real and growing retirement crisis, and we cannot allow Social Security to be dismantled inch by inch. http://t.co/yFUgqacgho
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) November 18, 2013
[Video Credit: Senator Warren, "We Cannot Allow Social Security To Be Dismantled . . .", YouTube]
I thought that Senator Warren's remarks were fairly impressive--if they are sincere!
Which for me, after five years of a Democratic Administration seemingly hell-bent on dismantling Social Security and Medicare, seems a bit dubious.
It is entirely possible that this Senate floor speech was a "head fake."
[Minutes 3:20 - 4:07 of the video address the Chained CPI, and Warren calls for the more generous inflation measure, the CPI-E.]
I say this because I heard DNC Chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz say a few months ago during an interview with Julie Mason [on the"The Press Pool," XM Radio] that the Democratic Party would strike a populist tone in the upcoming midterms election--emphasizing "inequality."
And indeed many Democrats seem to be adopting this new theme.
Forgive me for sounding skeptical (which is probably not surprising, coming for me) but how is it that the Democratic Party has brooked no dissent in allowing opposition to the Administration's neoliberal/corporatist agenda, but all of a sudden is taking on the mantle of "Everyman" populism?
Hopefully, these are not deceitful gestures.
But I am wary of their sincerity, and suspect that both Senators Warren and Sanders, and the President, are simply attempting to bring the liberal faction of the Dem Party Base into the fold for what will obviously be two very tough election cycles.
BTW, "lets," I'll "eat crow" since the Budget Conference Committee did not include the Chained CPI or the two Medicare cuts. ;-)
I must say, however, that I believe that the reason that the Budget Committee choose to mostly go with a number of cuts from Section IV, Other Mandatory Programs of the Bowles-Simpson proposal "The Moment Of Truth," was because the recent ACA roll out has been such a fiasco.
IOW, even the most corporatist Democrats on the Budget Committee didn't dare support these three cuts, this close to the midterm elections.
So, I'll predict once more that these cuts will take place relatively soon after the midterm elections are over--unless Democrats lose the Senate.
If that should happen, I believe that it would be the Republicans who would likely balk--now that so many seniors have fled to the Republican Party since 2010 [Seniors Fled Democrats In Midterms].
My hope is that the Democratic Party Base will demand that every potential Presidential candidates unequivocally state their positions on Social Security and Medicare "reform."
Personally, I do not think that "flowery speeches" from lawmakers, or candidates on the campaign trail, are sufficient "evidence" on which to evaluate a candidate's stance on a given issue.
Preferably, candidates should have to answer the direct question: "Would you vote for ANY cuts to Social Security or Medicare--under any circumstances?"
Because, as far as I'm concerned, if Democrats allow these treasured social insurance programs to be eviscerated, it will give new meaning to the expression "the Party is over."