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Lame Duck Will Put Democrats to the Test
WASHINGTON - November 12 - NORMAN SOLOMON [email]
Solomon’s article in the current edition of The Nation magazine is titled “How to Build a Grassroots Power Base.” He said today: “A profound question hovering over the lame duck session is whether Democrats in Congress will push back against White House pressure for a ‘grand bargain.’ Medicare and Medicaid are headed to the chopping block, and Social Security may not be far behind, but profligate military spending is another matter. The Democratic leadership on Capitol Hill cannot protect the legitimate interests of the party’s base without resisting the president’s apparent zeal to strike a ‘grand bargain’ at the expense of the very people who just voted him back into office.”
After providing much of the grassroots energy that kept Mitt Romney from winning the presidency, Solomon contends, progressive activists must now concentrate on a new task — restraining the president’s tendency to give ground to GOP leaders on Capitol Hill. Solomon asks: “What do you get when you cross a lame duck and a deficit hawk?” His answer: “The obscene specter of betrayal of Medicare and Medicaid.”
In his new article in The Nation, Solomon writes that “accommodation has been habit-forming for many left-leaning organizations, which are increasingly taking their cues from the party establishment: deferring to top Democrats in Washington, staying away from robust progressive populism and making excuses for the Democratic embrace of corporate power and perpetual war.”
Solomon is founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and co-chair of the Healthcare Not Warfare campaign launched by Progressive Democrats of America. He co-founded RootsAction.org, which now has nearly 200,000 members nationwide. His books include War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.