If Snoopy had ever pointed out to Charlie Brown that Lucy was just going to yank the football away again at the last second, Charlie would have only heard barking.
I hope all the good people chattering away about how cutting Social Security would be political suicide, and therefore won’t happen, can hear more than barking in the following.
In the best case scenario, and least likely outcome, the Super Congress will fail to produce a plan or to pass one through the actual Congress. In that case, the backup disaster plan will kick in and deem itself passed automatically. Those who had voted against setting up this deal will claim innocence. The others will claim that their only other choice had been Armageddon.
In a far more likely outcome, the Gang of 12 will produce and pass a plan that adds to the disaster by savaging Social Security or other public trusts and necessary programs. When this passes through the full Congress, perhaps 45% of Congress Members, split evenly between the two political parties, or slanted toward the Republicans, will vote No. Those who vote Yes will claim the only other option was Armageddon. They’ll also point to historic if microscopic cuts to the military and other shiny objects amounting to 2 percent or so of the deal. Those who vote Yes will be those with the safest seats, newly re-gerrymandered, protected by media bias, by ballot access restrictions, by voter suppressing registration and ID requirements, and by unverifiable voting machines. Those who vote Yes will have very well funded campaigns.
By the time elections come around, significantly worse disasters will be in the news. The current disasters guarantee worse ones to come through their impact on the economy, the environment, foreign animosities, weapons proliferation, etc. The Republicans in the Republican-gerrymandered districts will shout “It’s me or the commie!” while the Democrats in the Democratic-gerrymandered districts will shout “It’s me or the teapartier! Look! Look at the scary teapartier!”
The so-called labor movement will back people who voted to hack into Social Security and/or other public trusts, and it will do so out of fear of the horrifying Tea Party. The Democratic Party loyalist activist groups will denounce anyone who both voted for the latest horror and belongs to the Republican Party. Those starting to sense that something might be more than slightly amiss will begin talking about the need for Democrats to start being REAL Democrats, take back our country, stop making mistakes, rebuild our dreams, stop giving in, stop conceding too much, stop letting down their true ideals with such consistency. This radical talk will create an entertaining scandal to last for months.
And it will all be downhill from there.
Unless a completely different approach is taken by people willing to address public demands to government in a manner independent of parties and nonviolently aggressive enough to fill the need. An approach like this one: http://october2011.org
Then all predictions are off, all outcomes become possible, and changes begin to happen in between elections. Then we stop lobbying Congress to lobby the Super Congress and start pressuring Congress to eliminate the Super Congress and do its own job.