So, are you unhappy? Odd are good that if you are a political junkie, if you are a follower of politics or if you have ever heard the word politics that you are in some form of discontent this morning. The plan that has been put forward as a “deal” has all the appeal of being told that you get to live, but you’ve had your left leg cut off and sometime later this year we’ll know how much of your right leg gets cut off as well.
It is getting late in the day but there still are ways that you can affect the outcome. You see this thing is not going to get out of the House without Democratic support. And a significant amount of it.
It could easily fail if Speaker Boehner’s “institutional” Republicans fear a primary more than they fear bucking their weak and oft confused leader. But there is a flip side of this, there is the Democratic 90 to 100 votes that are going to be needed to make it all happen.
Right now the leaders of both the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Progressive Caucus are saying they are extremely unhappy with the plan and at least a couple of them are saying they will not support it. While there is some cross over between the two caucuses, between they have enough members to make passage much harder, if they all stick together to vote no.
At this point I am not sure what the President would do if faced with a last minute collapse of this, to quote the leader of the CBC, “Sugar coated Satan sandwich”. There is a lot of talk about the 14th Amendment, or the specifically reserved right to mint platinum coins or even the fact that there is a Homeland Security directive that seems to allow the president to take all kinds of unilateral action in the event of a wide range of emergency conditions including, specifically, economic turmoil.
I am pretty damned unhappy with President Obama, but even at the depths of my frustration I know that he is a smart guy and that smart folks don’t put all their eggs in one basket, even if they are saying they do. So, with that assumption of competence we can have some hope that if Progressives did derail this craptastic deal there would be something other than default in our future.
So what is there for someone who is seeing red to do? Quite a lot actually. The vote in the Senate is going to be first. It is a lock. It is going to happen and it is going to pass. There is no point in working there. However given the numbers of voices saying they are unhappy with the deal in the House there is a chance to push for rejection of a bad deal.
The first step is to light up the switchboards. Call or e-mail the members of both the CBC and CPC and tell them to stand strong. Tell them that you support the idea of forcing the president to act in other ways to avoid validating the Republican hostage taking.
Since this is a lot of work I am going to take some of it off of your shoulders. I’ll give you the names and even a script that you can use to call, but if you care about this issue it will only work if you make the calls yourself.
Let’s start with a script:
Hi my name is (insert name) and I am calling to encourage Representative (insert name) to vote against the debt ceiling deal. While the need to avoid default is critical we should never be in a position of negotiating with hostage takers, be they foreign or domestic. The President has several options for resolving this crisis without this horrendously bad deal or rewarding the hostage taking of the Republicans.
A vote against this package will be a clear signal that the Congressional Progressive Caucus really live up to its name.
We are having the wrong conversation in Congress. We should not be looking for how we can cut spending; we should be looking at how we can put the millions of Americans who are out of work, back in jobs. Doing this will go a lot further to stabilizing our finances than punitive cuts to programs that support the least among us.
The Representatives vote on this issue will definitely be a factor in my support or my decision to support a primary challenger in the next cycle.
You can find the members of the CPC at this link. On the page are links to their contact information.
Here is a script for the Congressional Black Caucus:
Hi my name is (insert your name) and I am calling Rep. (insert name) to urge him (or her) to vote against the debt ceiling deal coming to the House floor.
There are other options for the President to resolve this crisis, without cutting programs that disproportionally affect the poor and working poor in this nation.
The hostage taking strategy of the Republicans can not be rewarded. If this situation were anywhere but the U.S. Congress there would be no giving in to hostage taking, yet we seem ready to validate that strategy. Please do no do so.
I am asking for leadership from all the members of the Congressional Black Caucus and will support them if they choose to stand up to this bullying and vote no.
In any case the Representatives vote will on this issue will go a long way to determine if I support them for another term or support a primary challenger.
The everyday people of this nation need champions in Washington. It is up the Representative make it clear where he (or she) stands. The people will surely not forget come election time, one way or the other.
And here is the link to the names and numbers of the Congressional Black Caucus.
There is more you can do as well. If you are on Faceboook, be sure to change your status to “Vote for the people, force the president to use the 14th Amendment” and link to either this article or the pages for the CBC and CPC.
This is a fight that we might not win; I have to be completely honest with you. But if you are mad about the way things are going down, if you want to change the way that the Democratic Party treats its constituents, if you just want to be heard, this is an important step.
The Tea Party has a chocke hold on the Republicans because they do get off their butts and get in touch with their members and let them know what is and is not acceptable. While I am not a fan of how far they have taken things there is at least a less to all of us that if we want to get the policy we like, we have to be willing to barrage the offices of our Democratic Representatives.
Action is what is needed now, and you have all the tools you need to take action. If this makes sense to you, don’t wait, get on the phone and start making your voice heard. After today the die will be cast and there will not be much we can do but fight a rear guard action to try to keep the Cat Food Commission II from cutting our social safety net to shreds.
The floor is yours.