Grijalva: We Just Got Thrown Under the Bus

My biggest complain about this statement from Raúl Grijalva is that he doesn’t say who threw Democrats and the people they champion under the bus: President Obama.

That said, his comments about the crossroads facing the Democratic Party are spot on.

This deal trades peoples’ livelihoods for the votes of a few unappeasable right-wing radicals, and I will not support it. Progressives have been organizing for months to oppose any scheme that cuts Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security, and it now seems clear that even these bedrock pillars of the American success story are on the chopping block. Even if this deal were not as bad as it is, this would be enough for me to fight against its passage.

This deal does not even attempt to strike a balance between more cuts for the working people of America and a fairer contribution from millionaires and corporations. The very wealthy will continue to receive taxpayer handouts, and corporations will keep their expensive federal giveaways. Meanwhile, millions of families unfairly lose more in this deal than they have already lost. I will not be a part of it.

Republicans have succeeded in imposing their vision of a country without real economic hope. Their message has no public appeal, and Democrats have had every opportunity to stand firm in the face of their irrational demands. Progressives have been rallying support for the successful government programs that have meant health and economic security to generations of our people. Today we, and everyone we have worked to speak for and fight for, were thrown under the bus. We have made our bottom line clear for months: a final deal must strike a balance between cuts and revenue, and must not put all the burden on the working people of this country. This deal fails those tests and many more.

The Democratic Party, no less than the Republican Party, is at a very serious crossroads at this moment. For decades Democrats have stood for a capable, meaningful government – a government that works for the people, not just the powerful, and that represents everyone fairly and equally. This deal weakens the Democratic Party as badly as it weakens the country. We have given much and received nothing in return. The lesson today is that Republicans can hold their breath long enough to get what they want. While I believe the country will not reward them for this in the long run, the damage has already been done.

A clean debt ceiling vote was the obvious way out of this, and many House Democrats have been saying so. Had that vote failed, the president should have exercised his Fourteenth Amendment responsibilities and ended this manufactured crisis.

This deal is a cure as bad as the disease. I reject it, and the American people reject it. The only thing left to do now is repair the damage as soon as possible. [my emphasis]

41 replies
  1. allan says:

    “Had that vote failed, the president should have exercised his Fourteenth Amendment responsibilities and ended this manufactured crisis.”

    To paraphrase a great man,
    never let a manufactured crisis go to waste.

  2. Gitcheegumee says:

    Does anyone recall President Obama’s campaign speeches where the anology of driving a bus(into a ditch) was frequently used?

    Quite a coup to continue driving the bus whilst simultaneously throwing your own passengers under said moving vehicle.

  3. scribe says:

    Can’t reach the levers on the voting machine (let alone the polling place) from under the bus.

    Sorry, Barry. No vote for you.

  4. prostratedragon says:

    Real growler of a headline at ThinkProgress:

    White House And Republicans Reach Tentative Deal To Raise Debt Ceiling

    This is how we make laws now?

  5. MadDog says:

    @prostratedragon: I think TP’s headline would be more accurate if it read:

    White House Stealth Republican President And Republicans Reach Tentative Deal To Raise Debt Ceiling

  6. prostratedragon says:

    @MadDog: It still leaves out that “Congress” thing. There used to exist even Republicans who knew about that.

  7. masaccio says:

    These progressives are spineless wimps, perfect followers for this accomodationist president.

  8. rugger9 says:

    The ONLY thing letting Obama do this is the crazies and/or serial flipfloppers on the GOP side running for 2012. That’s what the AmericansElect “third way” Blue Dog option is counting on. So, while Obama apparently doesn’t think he needs to worry about the GOP (and he’s probably right, given who survives the primaries to come) the candidate coming out of this well-funded hedgie sourced* group [Petraeus, IMHO] will score enough to take out Obama. The MOTUs get a pliable POTUS, crazy or not, and will dismember the country at their leisure. If the base stays home (and they WILL if these cuts go through) Obama is toast.

    So, we need Obama to become a progressive again which requires a primary by someone is a reliable progressive and who has sufficient chops to win the general as well. We need to get them on board and in primaries. Dean, Feingold are already out for various reasons. Who else in the D ranks has the gravitas to scare Obama straight? HRC triangulates more than Obama does, it’s really why she lost in 2008.

    * It has to be a MOTU/Koch/Gramm/Rove operation, not just hedge funds. We haven’t dug deep enough yet to the real pockets behind this group.

  9. MadDog says:

    @KWinIA: I was having similar thoughts, but decided that one Roosevelt was probably as much as the public could take. Two would have been overkill. *g*

  10. Mad Hemingway says:

    Heh! Man, that Raul (or is it Raoul?), he catches on quick. You’d a thought they’d learnt from the compulsory insurance episode. Evidently not.

    I chuckled at him last week on Olberman when he said Leader Pelosi has been nothing but transparent.

    I bet he and the Progressive Caucus vote for it.

  11. Sundog says:

    President failure caves again, who knew? He makes the Manchurian Candidate look like a poser.

    Bye bye Barry. You’ve compromised yourself into oblivion. It’s a shame you did the same for the American middle class while you were at it.

    I wish we had write in Presidential candidates. I would push for FDR.

  12. P J Evans says:

    The next question is, how badly are we getting screwed this time?

    (The CBC doesn’t like it, says it’s a sugar-coated Satan sandwich.)

    I’d register as a socialist or something else well to the left of the Ds, but there doesn’t seem to be much choice in CA.

  13. radiofreewill says:

    It’s going to take the Goopers less than five seconds to figure out how to ‘win’ with the Super Congress: Tax the little people for everything – starting with an internet sales tax.

    Four months is enough time to find $3T hiding in the sweat of our backs…to spare their masters from having to pay a dime in tax…

    …and it can’t be appealed.

  14. radiofreewill says:

    Here’s a slice of the foxnews ticker showing Boehner’s ‘tough sell’ to his caucus:

    9:32 p.m. ET:

    Source on the GOP call says no one on the conference call so far is opposed.

    In fact I’m told that no callers on the call were opposed.

    — Chad Pergam

    9:02 p.m. ET:

    Boehner says deal “does not violate GOP principles…We got 98% of what we wanted.”

    Boehner also says during the GOP conference that it is time for the minority leader to “get on board.”

    –Chad Pergram

    8:53 p.m. ET:

    Boehner speech to GOP rank and file on conference call:

    “The press has been filled with reports all day about an agreement. There’s no agreement until we’ve talked to you. There is a framework in place that would cut spending by a larger amount than we raise the debt limit, and cap future spending to limit the growth of government. It would do so without any job-killing tax hikes. And it would also guarantee the American people the vote they have been denied in both chambers on a balanced budget amendment, while creating, I think, some new incentives for past opponents of a BBA to support it.

    “My hope would be to file it and have it on the floor as soon as possible. I realize that’s not ideal, and I apologize for it. But after I go through it, you’ll realize it’s pretty much the framework we’ve been operating in.

    “Since Day One of this Congress, we’ve gone toe-to-toe with the Obama Administration and the Democrat-controlled Senate on behalf of our people we were sent here to represent.

    “Remember how this all started: the White House demanded a ‘clean’ debt limit hike with no spending cuts and reforms attached. We stuck together, and frankly made them give up on that.

    “Then they shifted to demanding a ‘balanced’ approach — equal parts spending cuts and tax hikes. With this framework, they’ve given up on that, too.

    “I’m gonna tell you, this has been a long battle — we’ve fought valiantly — and frankly we’ve done it by listening to the American people. And as a result, our framework is now on the table that will end this crisis in a manner that meets our principles of smaller government.

    “Now listen, this isn’t the greatest deal in the world. But it shows how much we’ve changed the terms of the debate in this town.

    “There is nothing in this framework that violates our principles. It’s all spending cuts. The White House bid to raise taxes has been shut down. And as I vowed back in May — when everyone thought I was crazy for saying it — every dollar of debt limit increase will be matched by more than a dollar of spending cuts. And in doing this, we’ve stopping a job-killing national default that none of us wanted.”

    Read more:

  15. Cregan says:

    Here’s my take “real world” style.

    Dems will insist on tax increases. The GOP will refuse to go along.

    The triggers will then take effect. Half the trigger cuts will be in defense. They will happen.

    The other half are cut from Medicare payments to providers. Oooh. Sounds bad.

    You ever heard of the Doc Fix??

    It will get cut, and then reinstated as Congress has FOR YEARS.

    So, defense gets cut, as progressives have dreamed for years, and Medicare actually gets no cuts.

    Don’t be giving Obama such a tough time. He mastered this one and McConnell was too smart by half.

  16. Sick of the whiners says:

    I’m getting real tired of all the arm chair politicians on the internet. Perfect example:

    “My biggest complain about this statement from Raúl Grijalva is that he doesn’t say who threw Democrats and the people they champion under the bus: President Obama”

    Raul didn’t throw Obama under the bus because he isn’t an idiot. Saying President Obama wants to cut Social Security is not only wrong, but it disenfranchises voters who think both parties are the same, so why should I vote. When voter turnout is low, republicans win.

    Bush tried to end social security. Accepting some reforms to entitlements is not the same. Think about it. Entitlements like Social Security are VERY popular, Bush lost considerable political capital when he went on his country wide bus tour to end SS. Obama is appealing to independents, the tea party is pushing independents to the left.

    If you don’t want to fight for Obama, fine. Concentrate on winning back the House and reversing these cuts in 2012, but tearing down Obama will not help anyone but Republicans.

  17. bmaz says:

    @Sick of the whiners:

    Terming it “tearing down Obama” is little but rhetorical flourish and political posturing. Calling things as you see them may be your tearing down, is our telling the truth.

  18. scribe says:

    @Sick of the whiners: Go fuck yourself, O-bot.

    B[lankfein’s] H[ouse-servant] Obama came to office having promised the money people to cut social security and medicare and make sure the banks made out like bandits. He went one better by forcing everyone to buy private insurance. Every step of the way he has been working toward those objectives, and has been methodically working to destroy both the Democratic party and anything the Republicans don’t like. You’re just his petty, trolling tool.

    He needs to go home. To Wall Street. After all, home is where the heart is, and his surely isn’t anywhere other than Wall Street.

  19. GulfCoastPirate says:


    Those defense cuts and the ease with which discretionary cuts can be rescinded if we win the next election is what stood out to me also.

    Whether anyone likes it or not the sheer magnitude of the debt scares the hell out of a lot of people. The teabaggers used that to get a lot of their people elected. Liberals have to learn to do the same – win elections and they aren’t going to do it by automatically resisting cuts in spending over and over. Krugman may be correct this morning on the economics but I think he’s dead wrong on the politics.

    The other thing that stood out to me was this deal virtually assures the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since they are all counting on those savings to meet the reduction targets. In effect, the R’s gave Obama cover to end the wars and if those targets aren’t met it’s going to be the R voter that is the most pissed. They’re going to have to accept these defense cuts.

    While I agree that Pelosi shouldn’t offer much, if any, help (let the R’s defend it on their own)I actually thought this was going to turn out worse than it did given Obama’s previous record. Since so many others seem to disagree I’m wondering what I’m nissing.

  20. harpie says:

    MadDog, I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said “Re-elect FDR!.

    My biggest complain about this statement from Raúl Grijalva is that he doesn’t say who threw Democrats and the people they champion under the bus: President Obama.

    John Conyers DOES say who threw US under the bus, in this video, linked by Glenn Greenwald the other day:

  21. orionatl says:

    “This deal trades peoples’ livelihoods for the votes of a few unappeasable right-wing radicals, and I will not support it…”

    as an aside, “livelihoods”?

    back to the point, did he not in fact support it?

    or put differently, what did grijalva do from, say, january last, to consistently draw attention to a debt-ceiling deal that might cut federal spending in a severe recession?

  22. Larue says:

    Mr. Grijalva forgets he voted for it before he voted against it . . . as FDL/Hamsher have shown a number of times recently.

    But yeah, the whole CPC is proggy when it’s convenient not to buck the party line . . . not so proggy friendly vote wise when the party is leaning on them . . . like oh, say, Public Option?

  23. matthew carmody says:

    @Alba Etie: What makes you think he’d be any different? This is the guy who walked away from the only chance to get people thinking about the illegitimacy of SCOTUS’s action anointing Bush president. By claiming to “avoid a constitutional crisis” he opened the door for everything that’s followed.

    I have absolutely no use for Al Gore.

  24. matthew carmody says:

    @Sick of the whiners:Obama put Social Security and Medicare on the table when they weren’t even being considered. HE opened the door to this traffic jam and the GOP fell over themselves making sure there was no way he could take it back.

    Fuck Obama a thousand times. There’s a place called DailyKos where you can actually suck a little bit of Obama’s ball sack if you don’t like reading things from people who are too pissed to take much more from Al Jolson or the Democrats.

  25. matthew carmody says:

    @GulfCoastPirate: What’s missing from this argument is the fact that now is not the time to be cutting spending. There’s already enough of that going on in the real economy because banksters are sitting on the money they extorted from the rest of us or they’re sending it in large chunks to their colleagues in Europe to shore up that mess.

    This country has the advantage of issuing the reserve currency for the world. What we don’t have is politicians who care about the country other than themselves or a population that has any knowledge of economics or economic history. If our budget is deep in the red it’s because the sector that should be creating jobs and helping us to spend our way out of this fiasco chooses, instead, to collect interest on the loans it is making to other TBTF enterprises rather than to pay wages, solid wages, not Bangaladesh-level wages, to working people here in this country.

    This whole kabuki is being carried out because the educational system in this country sucks so bad that when numbers appear in anything people are reading or watching, they either close the paper or change the channel. You can tell people have become stupid when they listen to 30 seconds of side effects associated with a drug being pushed on them and then run out to get that drug. An anti-depressant being marketed as a painkiller that may lead to suicidal ideation. And people don’t know enough to run in the other direction. That’s No Child Left Behind stupidity at a national level.

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