Shirley Sherrod was fired, Van Jones was forced out... but Alan Simpson gets to stay
Let me see if I have this straight.
When an individual targeted for takedown by the Republican Noise Machine gets slimed and taken out of context by the likes of the blowhards at Fixed Noise Channel, senior administration officials unceremoniously abandon the individual in question and send him or her packing without thinking twice about it.
But when a former Republican senator appointed by the President to serve on a task force working on an issue of great importance to the country shoots his mouth off, they let it slide. What gives? What's up with that?
The IOKIYAR rule strikes again.
I could understand keeping Simpson on, despite his inflammatory and derogatory remarks, if the same courtesy had been extended to Shirley Sherrod and Van Jones. But it wasn't. President Obama's senior staff punish loyal people the right wing goes after by cutting them loose.
But they don't take action when an ageist, sexist Republican (who doesn't share our values!) crudely describes Social Security as "a milk cow with three hundred and ten million tits" in a rude email reply to an advocate for seniors.
And Robert "Those people ought to be drug-tested" Gibbs wonders why many on the left aren't happy with the Obama administration.
Tapping Simpson was a mistake to begin with. He has previously referred to seniors as "greedy geezers" and rambled on at length about how he can't stand people who want to protect Social Security for future generations:
Let me tell you, everything that Bush and Clinton or Obama have suggested with regard to Social Security doesn't affect anyone over sixty, and who are the people howling and bitching the most? The people over sixty. This makes no sense. You've got to scrub out [of] the equation the AARP, the Committee for the Preservation of Social Security and Medicare, the Gray Panthers, the Pink Panther, the whatever. Those people are lying... [They] don't care a whit about their grandchildren...not a whit.Here's a thought: How about, in lieu of asking Simpson to resign, we just scrap the whole deficit reduction commission (also informally known among netroots activists as the "catfood commission"?) It isn't serving any useful purpose that we can see. To date all it appears to have accomplished is generate bad press for the administration. It never should have been created.
We don't need a commission to figure out how to bring the federal budget back into balance, because there are a number of obvious solutions: End the occupation of Afghanistan, lower our expenditures in Iraq, cut defense spending, let the Bush tax cuts expire, and raise additional revenue by closing corporate tax loopholes and ending subsidies for gargantuan companies that don't need them.
That's the way to reduce the deficit, responsibly.