First of all--watch this is you haven't already:
I agree with all of it. The man speaks the truth. Also truth, the House Democrats earlier this week chose not to take the Obama-GOP tax deal to the floor--but another thing which is true is that they will be dealing with the bill that the Senate moves forward. That's what brings us to the "Filibernie." Maybe the Senate can get a better deal--I hope they fight like hell for it. I hope they accomplish something that shuts the tax cuts for the top earners down, and retains the unemployment extensions. My gut says we shouldn't wait until a more politically opportune time to address the national debt. (And my feeling about people whose money works for them getting a break not extended to people who work for every penny of their money remains.)
But this is why I wasn't pissed about Obama's deal--it wasn't necessarily final: there happens to be, constitutionally, this whole separate branch of government, co-equivalent with, but with separate powers from, the executive branch. That would be congress, a branch that has had incredibly low favorability ratings in the polls--and yet is essential for crafting the policies we actually will see enacted.
We really do put a lot of attention on the White House, and maybe not as much on Congress. They've been very effective at making the deals for the health care reform and passing the original stimulus and reforming the credit industry--but the bottom line is: even if the path that that nation takes is suggested and enacted by an administration--the Congress still has to make the actual laws.
Although I've expressed my understanding of why Obama agreed to the deal he did and blogged about why it isn't the suckiest thing ever, I am glad to see the anger of the base actually trickle up to leadership this time. It isn't up to Obama to fight this thing out--he's only the President, after all. It's about Congress actually.
They just don't have a lot of time. But I hope the 8.5 hour stand taken by the Independent, self-describer Democratic Socialist Senator from Vermont, resonates with a lot of people. I hope e-mails and letters and phone calls do what they should do.
I'm just not a really good hope-fiend.
(Oh, what did they discover? They rediscovered Congress. It was nearly buried under the rubble of the Bush White House-led, GOP-dominated years. Also: a thing! If you are a fan of etymology and politics, you have to love the thing. Compare it also to the "Res Publica" of the Romans: the People's Thing. Truly, the Congress is La Cosa Nostra of the US--if we could only figure out how to make it really ours.)