Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus have made what the caucus calls “The Progressive Promise”. It’s a series of pledges of “unwavering commitment” to the American people to uphold a list of specific liberal policy items.
Among the pledges in the Progressive Promise are:
– “To preserve guaranteed Social Security benefits for all Americans”
– “To promote environmental justice in affirmation that all people have an inherent right to a healthy environment, clean air, and clean water wherever we live, work, and relax”
It would be a clear violation of the Progressive Promise if the Congressional Progressive Caucus failed to challenge an effort to wreck the Social Security system by reducing payments into the system to unsustainable levels. The Progressive Promise would also plainly be broken if the Congressional Progressive Caucus stood by and allowed the sabotage of regulations to protect Americans from deadly smog.
Yet, that’s just what the Congressional Progressive Caucus has done.
One week ago, Barack Obama declared that he will not enforce regulations to protect Americans from levels of smog so dangerous that they kill between 4,000 and 12,000 people every year. The Clean Air Act requires President Obama to put the regulations in place, but he is ignoring the law.
Then, yesterday, President Obama announced that he is seeking the passage of legislation that will both lengthen and amplify the reduction of money going into the Social Security trust fund.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus has done nothing, and said nothing, to confront either action.
In fact, the co-chairs of the caucus, Raul Grijalva and Keith Ellison, actually called Obama’s plan to defund Social Security through an expanded cut in the payroll tax “a good first step”. Reducing the flow of money that keeps Social Security insolvent is only a good first step in an effort to destroy Social Security.
Why is the caucus refusing to confront Barack Obama’s anti-progressive agenda on these two issues? Is it because the members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are Democrats, and Barack Obama is also a Democrat?
In the Progressive Promise, members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus pledge “unwavering commitment”. Instead of that, the caucus appears to be using its Progressive Promise as a partisan tool to use when it benefits the Democratic Party, and to ignore when it becomes politically inconvenient.