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Barack Obama is gutting the core principles of the Democratic party

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The president's attacks on America's social safety net are destroying the soul of the Democratic party's platform

In 2005, American liberals achieved one of their most significant political victories of the last decade. It occurred with the resounding rejection of George W Bush's campaign to privatise social security.

Bush's scheme would have gutted the crux of that entitlement programme by converting it from what it has been since the 1940s -- a universal guarantor of minimally decent living conditions for America's elderly -- into a Wall Street casino and bonanza.

Progressive activists and bloggers relentlessly attacked both the plan and underlying premises (the myth that social security faces a "crisis"), spawning nationwide opposition. Only a few months after he unveiled his scheme to great fanfare, Bush was forced to sheepishly withdraw it, a defeat he described as his biggest failure.

That victory established an important political fact. While there are very few unifying principles for the Democratic party, one (arguably the primary one) is a steadfast defence of basic entitlement programs for the poor and elderly -- social security, Medicare and Medicaid -- from the wealthy, corporatised factions that have long targeted them for cuts.

But in 2009, clear signs emerged that President Obama was eager to achieve what his right-predecessor could not: cut social security. Before he was even inaugurated, Obama echoed the right's manipulative rhetorical tactic: that (along with Medicare) the programme was in crisis and producing "red ink as far as the eye can see." President-elect Obama thus vowed that these crown jewels of his party since the New Deal would be, as Politico reported, a "central part" of his efforts to reduce the deficit.

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The next month, his top economic adviser, the Wall Street-friendly Larry Summers, also vowed specific benefit cuts to Time magazine. He then stacked his "deficit commission" with long-time advocates of social security cuts.

Read the rest of this article at The Guardian
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For the past 10 years, I was a litigator in NYC specializing in First Amendment challenges, civil rights cases, and corporate and securities fraud matters. I am the author of the New York Times Best-Selling book, How Would A Patriot (more...)

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That was snake oil salesman, Kumbayabama, Obushbam... by 911TRUTH on Saturday, Jul 23, 2011 at 10:10:55 AM
The powers that be would rather have had a democra... by Dave Kisor on Saturday, Jul 23, 2011 at 4:32:46 PM
Your view is basically that Obama is merely incomp... by Nathan Nahm on Saturday, Jul 23, 2011 at 6:01:48 PM
The mood has changed in the country over the last ... by Don Smith on Saturday, Jul 23, 2011 at 11:21:50 AM
Of course, as an activist, attorney and author you... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Saturday, Jul 23, 2011 at 12:06:55 PM
Even before taking office Obama did his back door ... by Philip Dennany on Saturday, Jul 23, 2011 at 12:41:18 PM
It is sad but true,Obama is trying to gut social s... by kappie on Saturday, Jul 23, 2011 at 1:36:47 PM
So, don't be fooled by the show put up by Obama. &... by Nathan Nahm on Saturday, Jul 23, 2011 at 10:53:12 PM
Hi Nathan---I was just thinking the same thing yes... by Elizabeth Hanson on Sunday, Jul 24, 2011 at 9:27:27 AM
I could not sleep. I am trying to figure out ... by Warren Currier on Tuesday, Jul 26, 2011 at 10:31:40 PM
takes the money out of the hands of the Fed, and i... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Wednesday, Jul 27, 2011 at 11:28:36 PM
  Obama is either A) an obvious leading cont... by Larry Kachimba on Sunday, Jul 24, 2011 at 2:09:11 AM
The betrayal of democratic and progressive princip... by eric stone on Sunday, Jul 24, 2011 at 2:36:17 AM
Read click hereIt is time for the American people ... by Jim Reinhart on Sunday, Jul 24, 2011 at 2:39:28 AM
to Obama's abandonment of core Democratic principl... by John Sanchez Jr. on Sunday, Jul 24, 2011 at 7:38:06 AM
That victory established an important political f... by Michael Dewey on Sunday, Jul 24, 2011 at 7:57:47 AM
Our President, soon to be up for re-election, Obam... by Marika on Sunday, Jul 24, 2011 at 9:11:53 AM
You hit the magic words when you mentioned "class ... by John Reed on Sunday, Jul 24, 2011 at 2:20:54 PM
Believing in Democrats or Republicans is for weak ... by Steven G. Erickson on Sunday, Jul 24, 2011 at 10:10:54 AM
The abject, depraved ignorance and naivette being ... by Robert Tracey on Sunday, Jul 24, 2011 at 12:52:23 PM
You think as progressives you are offering somethi... by Robert Tracey on Sunday, Jul 24, 2011 at 1:06:13 PM
"Yet will someone please explain to me how more de... by Marika on Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 5:43:26 AM
If the right wing has this much power, as people a... by Debbie S on Thursday, Jul 28, 2011 at 1:12:45 AM