Bait and switch?

So I read this piece yesterday in which Digby discussed the notion that Rep. Paul Ryan’s Crazy Roadmap to the Future is part of a larger design to make the Catfood Commission recommendations look reasonable:

If I were a conspiracy type, I might even think the catfood salesmen on the commission cooked this whole thing up sometime last December when it was obvious that the liberals weren’t going to sign on. But I’m not a conspiracy type so I’d imagine that this is just something they all fortuitously and individually stumbled into on their way to a big donor meeting. There doesn’t have to be a conspiracy — it’s just part of the culture. Look at how the Village greeted Ryan today. Cleopatra would be jealous.

Digby might think that’s crazy talk, but I don’t. That’s why I posed that question to Nancy Pelosi on a blogger conference call she held today on the budget. I said that some of us were concerned that the administration was going to use the Ryan budget to make the deficit commission proposals look reasonable, and asked if she’d speak to that.

The response I got wasn’t all that reassuring.

“If you subtract Social Security from it, [their proposals] to make it more solvent, that doesn’t belong in any discussion about cutting the deficit,” she said. “They shouldn’t include policy decisions about social security. They don’t belong on the same table.”

Once you subtract the Social Security proposals, “there are some good things in the deficit commission report.”

She pointed out their recommendations include a “very big cut in defense” and in revenue earmarks. “There are features that are very good, not the full package,” she said.

Then she said “ninety percent of our focus has to be putting the spotlight on the bad things in their budget.”

I got the distinct impression I was being deflected.

I won’t argue about the “good things” Leader Pelosi says are left in the deficit commission chairmans proposal after we remove the cuts to Social Security.

There are, indeed, what appears to be some good, practical proposals. But Republicans aren’t going to vote for the sensible ideas on their merits. They’ll hold them hostage until they also get their wacky right-wing proposals adopted.

And let’s face it: The Democrats will give it to them.

And can we drop the political game pieces and get back to reality? Republicans don’t care about the deficit. Repeat after me: Republicans don’t care about the deficit. Did you hear a peep out of them during the Bush years? Of course not. Because Republicans don’t care about the deficit.

This is the same game they’ve been playing for decades. It’s just that this time, they’ve got the Democrats running the ball for them.

Remember this?

“I can’t wait for the blood bath in April,” said Alan Simpson at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast roundtable with reporters this morning. “It won’t matter whether two of us have signed this or 14 or 18. When debt limit time comes, they’re going to look around and say, ‘What in the hell do we do now? We’ve got guys who will not approve the debt limit extension unless we give ’em a piece of meat, real meat, off of this package.’ And boy the bloodbath will be extraordinary.”

5 Responses to Bait and switch?

  1. merciless April 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

    It’s not a conspiracy. It’s just business.

  2. jawbone April 6, 2011 at 6:41 pm #

    And Obama will precompromise to the point he gives them more than they even demand. Even now, he’s on his way to doing it again.

    What a terrible mistake the Democrats made in ensuring his nomination win; what a terrible thing to do to our nation.

  3. pragmatic realist April 6, 2011 at 9:00 pm #


  4. Ten Bears April 6, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

    I’ve often thought the McCain/Palin ticket threw the election to the O. With Bachmann and the other freaks that have tossed their hats in the ring, I’m beyond thinking so. Obama is a shoe-in, and we are well and truly screwed.

  5. Cay April 8, 2011 at 8:15 pm #

    jawbone, I am as disgusted and saddened by Obama as you are, but he is a direct result of our rotten system. Governments rarely act on behalf of the people anyway and since the Carter administration they’ve managed to dismantle most of the systemic checks that kept us from being an oligarchy. The system is broken and the only way to change things is by exerting outside pressure for a long time. This system isn’t going to elect anyone that really cares about the poor or middle class.

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