To follow up on last week’s post about student loans, one thing we’re now seeing is the deployment of the Imaginary Compromise Pundit Scam. In days of yore, when the left, construed broadly, had to fight both Republicans and too many Democrats to prevent
old people from eating cat foodcuts to Social Security*, many Sensible Centrist Pundits would argue that Democrats should cut Social Security and in return, Democrats could pass some other social spending.
There was one problem with these suggestions: that deal was never on the fucking table. Ever. It was always just a masturbatory fantasy. The only real issue was will Social Security be cut? There was no Grand Bargain to be had, just the slow extinguishing of the Democrats’ most successful anti-poverty program**.
We’re now seeing this regarding student loan debt cancellation. Sensible Liberal Pundits (who were the Sensible Centrist Pundits of the halcyon days of yore) are now suggesting what we really need is systemic higher education reform. I don’t disagree (and a guy by the name of Bernie Sanders has a plan for that, but I digress), but that’s not on the table right now. We can barely name post offices at this point, there’s no way were passing massive higher education reform.
So what we’re left with is either cancelling (some or all) student debt, or not doing that. You might think it’s either bad policy or politics–and if you do, then you should make that argument! (Have fun with that!). But postulating imaginary deals that won’t happen is a chickenshit move. And you might want to consider ignoring the Sensible Pundits who propose them.
This post also has no implications whatsoever for Abortion Rights Strategery either.
*One of those Democrats was named Obama, by the way. So I guess, in a sense, Democrats have ‘moved to the left’ in that Social Security isn’t on this table anymore…
**And until many Democrats decided to call for cuts to the program, that was a key mechanism for keeping older White racists voting Democratic.