Transcript: Thom Hartmann: The Big Picture: Have Democrats not learned their lesson yet? 27 October '11

You know, Democrats need to take a good, long look in the mirror - because many of them seem to have forgotten just who the heck they are.

Yesterday - the 6 Democrats on the Gang of 12 Super Committee introduced their first proposal - as in first offer - starting point for negotiations with Republicans over the next month.

And in it - they propose cutting $400 billion from Medicare.

That's a $400 billion cut from Medicare - the program Democrats created - the program that Democrats fought hard for against Republicans like Ronald Reagan, who even voiced a 33 LP, a recording heard by millions of Americans - the AMA sent it all over the country - suggesting that Medicare would put us on the road to a Soviet style of socialism.

That's a $400 billion cut from Medicare - a program that 78% of Americans want left alone!

And that's a $400 billion cut from Medicare that's only going to get worse because - again - this is the first offer on the table from the Democrats on the Gang of Twelve - so once the Republicans start negotiating - it's a safe bet I think that that number is going to get bigger a bigger and bigger.

Which begs the question, why on earth would Democrats put their second-most prized creation - behind social security - on the table for sacrifice - when everyone knows that the Republicans aren't going to compromise on raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires no matter what the Democrats offer up?

Have Democrats not yet learned their lesson?

You know why the Republican base can't get excited about Mitt Romney?

Because he's a flip-flopper.

He doesn't stand for anything - he does what's easy - he does what he needs to do to get a few votes or cut a deal. Remember a couple of years ago at the CPAC - I do my radio show from there every year, have for 5 years - people were walking around. There was a "flipper" dressed up like Flipper the dolphin and people were handing out flippers, anti-Romney Republicans.

And Democrats, for some reason - are acting like a bunch of Mitt Romney's - they're willing to ditch the Party's principles in the hope that they can strike some kind of deal with Republicans.

Some kind of backroom deal in which they might get just a tiny morsel of what they were looking for while Republicans get - as John Boehner famously bragged after their last negotiations - he said he got 98% of what he wanted.

Democrats, this is a losing strategy.

The American people don't want compromisers - they want someone who sticks to their guns - who believes in something and is willing to fight for it.

For example, Americans might have hated Bush's policies - or at least, many Americans - but they liked his swagger - or at least his convictions, or the appearance of them.

The same was true of Reagan and FDR and Harry Truman - you may have disagreed with them, and a lot of people did, vehemently - all of them, you always knew where they stood.

The American people have aggressively embraced what progressives have fought to bring to this nation over the last century.

From Teddy Roosevelt's Square Deal - to Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal - to Lyndon Johnson's Great Society.

78% of Americans oppose cutting Medicare - a program created by DEMOCRATS.

73% of Americans oppose cutting Medicaid - another program created by DEMOCRATS.

62% of Americans oppose any kind of cuts to Social Security - another program created by DEMOCRATS.

67% of Americans oppose cutting off unemployment insurance, another program created by DEMOCRATS.

Let Republicans run on their desire to cut these programs.

Let them run - try to run - on handing over Social Security to Wall Street banksters - and handing Medicare over to for-profit health insurance executives.

Because they can't win.

At least not as long as Democrats don't give in - and offer cuts up themselves like the 6 Democrats on the Gang of 12 just did.

It's really simple - if Democrats want to act like there's no difference between them and Republicans - then what's the point of even having two parties?

As legend has Harry Truman saying:

The people don't want a phony Democrat. If it's a choice between a genuine Republican, and a Republican in Democratic clothing, the people will choose the genuine article, every time...

It's time for Democrats to stand up and be proud of what they've created over the last 100 hundred years in America - and to fight to defend these programs from this unprecedented attack against them by the Republican Party.

Democrats may not win this debate - but that's fine - at least the American people will start realizing that one party is fighting for them again.

And if they keep doing it - if they keep standing up for something - and fighting like Democrats - then eventually the electoral victories will come.

As they did when Harry Truman took on the "Republican Do-Nothing Congress" in 1948 - and Democrats took and held the majority in the House of Representatives for the next 46 years.

Harry Truman laid it out the message - everybody heard it. Everybody got it. The Democrats held Congress for the next 46 years after Harry Truman said this:

The reason is that the people know that the Democratic Party is the people's party, and the Republican Party is the Party of special interest, and it always has been and always will be.

It's time for Democrats to wake up and remember that THEY are the party of the 99% - and the Republican Party is and always has been the party of the 1% - always has been - always will be.

That's The Big Picture.

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