| Tired of repeating myself I shall link to thereisnospoon at Digby's place on Democrats' foolhardy mission to cut Medicare and Social Security, betray their party principles and base, and hand Republicans control of our government for a generation. Which, oh-by-the-way Mark Udall doesn't give a crap about.
I'm stripping David's post to the bone after noting Howard Fineman's broadcast of the Conventional DC Wisdom of the Moment:
FINEMAN: "And if we're going to be cutting Medicare at some point, which I think most voters understand, I thin kright now looking at these alternatives they'd rather have a Democrat they know than a Republican who never supported the program to begin with."
Let's be perfectly clear: Democrats are running against Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney and a party that has hated Social Security since before it was policy.
Blue Dog Dems like Mark Udall and Michael Bennet and Jared Polis, and quite possibly the president, are looking to do exactly the same thing as soon as the election is over in what will be a vain attempt at paying off the debt, averting this phony "fiscal cliff" (See, if it's an emergency, our "leaders" can act hasty and pass dumb laws and then blame it on being an emergency and they had to do something!!!11!) and playing to Conservative and Independent voters who somehow won't have enough votes to put their guys in place, but who deserve to have all their policies enacted anyway.
Back to 'spoon:
There is no need for any cuts to Medicare. What is needed is universal insurance so that the wasteful profit motive is removed from the healthcare system.
And the coup de grâce about all this triangulation and "seriousness":
If Medicare does become insolvent then the gradual cuts will take place automatically--no need to frontload them in advance with austerity measures.
If one does want to be proactive as one should, then the program can be made solvent by slightly raising the maximum cap on which Medicare taxes are assessed. (Of course Millionaires and Billionaires would scream bloody murder at us insatiable leeches. -Z)
Fineman is disastrously wrong on the politics. For a Democrat to cut Medicare would be politically disastrous. (And I'll add SS to that. -Z)
If the Congress and the President take up Simpson-Bowles during the lame duck session or the new year and enact minor tip money tax increases for the wealthy in exchange for cuts to the most vulnerable, a majority of Republicans will oppose the deal. Democrats will be left holding the bag, insisting on being the "bipartisan adults in the room."
Voters will hate the deal.
Republicans will run successfully against Democrats for the next twenty years, accusing us of cutting Medicare and raising taxes.
The Village Consensus is awful, immoral policy.
It's also suicidal politics.
And Democrats and their right-wing Deficit-whisperers appear to be walking into it with open eyes and open arms.
To summarize: Mark Udall and Michael Bennet would rather pull the plug on grandma than argue for and spend political capital supporting the Middle Class against the latest onslaught of the 1%. They will take no risks by enacting a Grand Bargain; their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren will never want for food, a roof, clothing or healthcare for the rest of their natural lives...the very things Udall and Bennet will be cutting if they take that vote.