I wonder if this will work. Democrats seem almost congenitally incapable of holding the line on Democratic values, so maybe a big push on this will work:
Former Sen. Russ Feingold and his new group Progressives United are petitioning the six House and Senate Democrats serving on the joint deficit Super Committee to walk away if Republicans don't budge on tax increases, and insist on cutting entitlement benefits.
"If we don't get our policy priorities, Democrats need to be ready to walk away from the deal," Feingold emailed his supporters. "You can guarantee extremists on the other side will continue to push relentlessly to give even more to corporations and put even more of the burden on the middle class. We have to fight harder than they will."
He lists the bright lines:
1. Ensure millionaires, billionaires, and big corporations pay their fair share of debt reduction,
2. No cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits,
3. No giveaways to corporate interests,
4. Or no deal.
His concern -- which progressives widely share -- is that Republicans will refuse to raise a penny of revenue, particularly from wealthy Americans, and leave the Committee's Democrats to pick between significant entitlement cuts or the trigger penalty, which would fall most heavily on Medicare providers and national defense.The effort is aimed at Democrats so that they don't lose their spine at that key moment. "We can have leverage with the Democrats on the super committee, but we need to build it," Feingold said.