Mr. Grijalva, I Do Not Believe You
Raul Grijalva, Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, is planning to take a stand against cutting Social Security.
Today, tomorrow and the day after, my colleagues and I are going to stand up and say, "Let’s strengthen Social Security, not cut it," and there’s nothing anyone can do or say to make us change our minds.
After stating–no, pledging…on camera–to vote No on any Healthcare bill that did not include a Public Option, Grijalva and his collegues famously caved at the critical moment of the Healthcare vote.
So, I do not believe him. I don’t believe that Progressives will stick together against a barrage of conservative spittle. I doubt anyone in the Administration believes him. Or the Democraticic Leadership. Or the Republican Party. Or just about anyone on Earth.
Acknowledging his lack of credibility, Grijalva continues,
There are plenty of people reading this today who think progressives’ problem was failing to stick to their guns. If only we held the line, they say, we’d have a public option today. That was not the case. The Senate wasn’t going to budge on a public option for reasons that have nothing to do with good public policy. House progressives — my friends and colleagues and I — didn’t have enough cards in our hand to make it happen all by ourselves. I think progressives’ central mistake during health care was telling ourselves that we did. (Emphasis mine).
Did anyone anywhere think that Progressives were going to get the Public Option all on their own? No! Some of us were hoping that the CPC would stand with the the majority of citizens who wanted some kind of PO. That is, we expected the CPC to work for and with the majority of their constituents.
But Grijalva believes the politics of Social Security is different than Healthcare.
Today, things are different. Today, what’s on the table is not the creation of a large new public program that Republicans can lie about until they’re blue in the face — it’s Social Security.
What makes Social Security so different?
Good policy really is going to win this time, because when 85 percent of voters are telling you not to do something as stupid as cut Social Security benefits, it’s not going to happen.
Here is the crux…Social Security reform will fail (we are told) because the people are against it. Well, where were the people on the PO? What makes Grijalva believe that Progressives will not be alone in their fight against cuts to Social Security when they were alone in their fight for the PO? A few percentage points of popular support? If the PO failed, Social Security will be destroyed just as easily.
Nevertheless, Grijalva is right. Social Security will most likely be left intact. Not because of any efforts of the CPC. Not because Progressives will stand up to block cuts. Not because Social Security is popular with the people. Social Security "reform" will fail because it is remarkably stupid and will result in devestating shame on the Administration and cause DLC-type Democrats to lose their seats. Whereas Democrats thought they could sell a crappy Healthcare bill as a success, there is no way Americans will watch seniors eat catfood and thank the Democrats for the priviledge.
So why would Grijalva make such a statement about standing up for Social Security? The answer is simple. Since the CPC doesn’t matter and Social Security will not be cut, Grijalva may as well set up the caucus for a badly needed "win". The CPC can take credit where none is due. Did I mention that elections are coming up?