There is a great deal of angst and worry among progressives about what is going to happen in two months, when the Republicans will once again try to hold the economy hostage so they can cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education, and everything else in the federal budget that helps low- and middle-income folks. It is of course a bad situation when you have one branch of the government eager to blow up the economy to do bad things that more than 80 percent of Americans oppose, but we need to spend a lot less time worrying and a lot more time organizing.
We can beat these guys, and beat them badly, if we have a focused and aggressive strategy.
There are four things progressives should do right now. The first relates to the President. I understand the disappointment we're feeling about his kicking the can down the road another two months, and the leverage lost on the revenue side. And I was very critical of the President’s willingness to swap cuts in Social Security benefits for a deal in this last go-around, and will fight him with every ounce of energy if he proposes any such thing again. But right now is the worst possible time to be raising doubts about this President’s willingness to hang tough in a negotiation as some of my friends in the progressive movement are doing.
The Republicans need to know that the President is deadly serious when he says he won’t negotiate on the debt ceiling, and that the entire progressive movement and Democratic party have his back on this. No negotiation whatsoever. Period and end of sentence.