Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member

Martin Eden

Martin Eden's Journal
Martin Eden's Journal
May 29, 2023

What concessions did the R's make in terms of policy agenda?

Concessions do not consist of having only some of your demands met in a manufactured crisis.

A concession in a "deal" outside normal annual budgetary negotiations means giving up something you already have in previously legislated policy.

The federal budget and deficit have two sides of the ledger: taxes and spending.

President Biden gave concessions with spending cuts and/or caps to existing programs Democrats fought for and enacted into law.

What did McCarthy give up in terms of rescinding at least a portion of the huge tax cuts for millionaires and wealthy corporations which drove the record highest deficit during a one term presidency, as they unquestionably raised the debt ceiling three times?

As I stated earier, this was not the normal legislative budgetary process. The Republican House majority was essentially holding hostage the full faith and credit of the United States -- along with the American and world economies -- to extract concessions outside the normal budgetary process.

All of which is not to criticise President Biden. He very likely averted a catastrophe which the nihilists in the "freedom caucus" were perfectly willing if not eager to inflict on the American people and the world. I have little doubt that our president through his wisdom and skill and long experience produced the best possible outcome.

What I am trying to do here is provide some necessary perspective.

This is a victory only to the extent that a terrible catastrophe was averted and that, hopefully, public perception accrues more to Democrats in the 2024 election.

But McCarthy and his gang extracted concessions without making any concessions of their own. Reducing the extent of their unreasonable demands is not a concession. Paying our nation's bills (which they have yet to do) is not a concession.

Negotiating with hostage takers and giving in to ANY of their demands is not a good thing.

Though, perhaps, necessary.

And that is a sad testament to the state of our nation.

May 29, 2023

Tears welled up when I first heard a portion of this in the Ken Burns documentary.

Tears again well up for this incredibly beautiful and loving testament to the sacrifices our citizen soldiers are called upon to make.

Let us resolve never to demand such sacrifices for anything less than a true and necessary cause the like of which Sullivan Ballou was willing to give his last full measure of devotion.

May 29, 2023

"amid threats and crackdowns across the state of Oklahoma"

It is appalling and alarming to see so much progress in equal rights for and public acceptance of the LGBTQ community being marched back in the 3rd decade of the 21st century.

Why is this happening?

The Republican Party is stoking fear and hatred for political gain. They can't win on government policy issues that truly serve the interests of the vast majority of people because they are in the pockets of the one percenters who increasingly hoard the wealth produced by the combined efforts of all Americans.

So they distract and divide voters with culture wars, convincing religious folk and ignorant bigots that gender minorities are an evil threat to children. They claim the moral high ground while fostering cruelty and violence, twisting and perverting Christianity for greed and power.

This has got to stop. The LGBTQ community aren't the only Americans being threatened. In their march to transform America from the world's leading democracy into a Christo-fascist state. Blacks, Jews, Muslims, liberals, and anyone who stands up for the highest ideals upon which our nation was founded are being targeted in a deliberate campaign of stochastic terrorism, inciting poisoned minds with eastly access to high powered firearms to acts of violence and mass murder.

This has got to stop.

The political strategy and poisoned ideology of today's Republican Party has to be shown for what it is and resoundingly defeated with ballots, not bullets. Truth must triumph over lies. Kindness has to defeat cruelty. Love must conquer hate. We all need to embrace the better angels of our nature along with indefatigable determination and strength of spirit.

May 28, 2023

As a matter of principle I was opposed to making any "deal" with economic terrorists

Republicans, who repeatedly raised the debt ceiling as POtuS Trump racked up huge deficits, threatened to wreck the economy unless their demands were met. They leveraged this threat for concessions they could not obtain through normal legislative budgetary compromise.

Economic terrorism, extortion, hostage taking, call it what you will -- making concessions under such threats rewards the terrorists and encourages more of the same.

True and fair compromise on reducing deficits would include both sides of the ledger -- spending cuts and rescinding at least some of the huge tax breaks for billionaires and wealthy corporations.

The gap between the one percenters and everyone else continues to grow. Without clawing back some of those tax breaks with this deal, the burden falls on Americans who can least afford it.

Could President Biden have successfully used the 14th Amendment to avoid making concessions to economic terrorists?

Could our president and Democratic leadership have made a better case with stronger messaging to make it more clear to the American people that House Republicans at the very least were engaging in extortion, and the catastrophe of defaulting on the debt would be entirely their doing?

To be honest, I don't know. President Biden and his political advisors know a lot more about such matters than I do.

But I'm fairly certain the nihilists in the "freedom caucus" were willing to inflict economic catastrophe on the American people for political advantage, or in furtherance of a radical ideology to tear down the bedrock institutions of our government.

Perhaps President Biden did what was necessary to prevent catastrophe and to win or at least break even in this dangerous game of political brinkmanship in the realm of public perception.

Breathing a sigh of relief may be in order, but celebrating what just happened is a bridge too far for me.

Spending cuts without reversing any of the Trump tax breaks for the rich is a win for Republicans in the realm of government policy that impacts the American people.

May 18, 2023

It's impossible to make America "great again"

...by being useful idiots for Russia or knowingly aiding their efforts from inside the USA.

Sparking internal division and dysfunction is one means to defeat a stronger foe.

Another means is to manipulate the foe into wasting its own power in misadventures that will fail or cause more harm. Al Qaeda employed this strategy to lure GW Bush into two long Mideast wars of occupation that increased jihadist violence and recruited the next generation of terrorists.

How, after what happened then and is happening now, can Republicans claim the mantle of "strong" on national security?

May 14, 2023

When Republicans win, the idiots who vote for them lose.

Idiots in this context are defined as the MAGA masses duped into believing lies and triggered by culture war rhetoric.

The plain fact of the matter is the corporate masters and the politicians who serve them don't give a damn about the idiots who vote for them. Their economic policies favor only the rich -- not those who need good paying jobs, affordable healthcare, quality education, and safety from gun violence.

The idiots in thrall to religious charlatans who preach the cult of Donald Trump gain absolutely nothing from abortion bans and breaking down the wall between church and state. They are already free to practice their religion as they choose. They may feel satisfaction from having their own narrow minded beliefs imposed on others, but all that really gains them is the enmity of their fellow citizens and a more bitterly divided America.

And that last bit, my friends, is the strategy at work here.

The greatest obstacle to more wealth and power concentrated in fewer hands are American citizens who recognize their common interests and understand how to use their vote to elect representatives who truly serve their interests.

The malefactors of great wealth need us to be at each other's throats, not demanding a fair share for the vital work we do in powering the economic engine which produces that wealth.

A great man once said a house divided against itself cannot stand.

That is just as true today as it was when Abraham Lincoln spoke those words.

May 11, 2023

What about misinformation?

Did that "town hall" effectively debunk all the lies spewed by Trump?

If not, then CNN platformed misinformation, not information. In doing so, the public good was harmed, not served.

I did not watch it, so my question is sincere. From what I've read, Trump put on a very predictable performance with too many lies and assertions to be effectively challenged and debuked in a format with one moderator and a Republican (or Republican-leaning) audience.

It sounds like the type of performance we've seen time and time again from this pathological liar, so I really have to question what useful purpose this served.

Context is important here. In normal times, broadcasting "town halls" for the leading candidate(s) in each party would be responsible journalism.

But Jan 6 was not normal. One of our two major political parties is promoting the Big Lie of a stolen election while downplaying the severity of an assault on our nation's Capitol and characterizing violent insurrectionists as true patriots. This is not normal.

Trump and his Party pose an existential threat to American democracy.

Do you disagree?

If not, then please consider the takeaway from CNN's "town hall" among all the voters who might consider giving Donald Trump another four years in the most powerful and prestigious elected office on this planet.

Did that broadcast effectively debunk the Big Lie and all the other lies, doing more to convince potential Trump voters that he's a lying criminal who must be thoroughly rejected by the American electorate?

Or did it do more to normalize this dangerous creature, aiding his quest to re-take the White House?

The former is informational, and responsible journalism.

The latter platformed misinformation, serving those who will transform the USA into a fascist state.

May 8, 2023

"If Republicans think"

I don't see much evidence for it.

"Thoughts and prayers" was never anything more than a cynical, worthless bromide on their part. They have no real intention or plan to stop mass shootings but still have to pretend they care, so all they have are shallow slogans and ludicrous rationalizations.

Profile Information

Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 12,529

Journal Entries

Latest Discussions»Martin Eden's Journal