Carper’s Gone Rogue. Make That Rogue-er.

Filed in Delaware, National by on January 3, 2013

Poor despairing Tom Carper. Forced to sit in his Senate Democratic Caucus and see his dreams of ‘entitlement reform’, aka gut the New Deal and the Great Society, go down the drain. From today’s unbelievable (but true) News-Journal piece:

Carper said he “sat there in despair” during meetings with fellow Democrats to discuss the deal brokered by Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. Carper had been telling colleagues for months this was their chance to do something meaningful about tax and entitlement reforms. The deal ultimately passed by Congress does neither, he said.

Don’t believe that Carper is going after Social Security? Read this illogic in all its Carperesque rationalization, then read what Sen. Bernie Sanders has to say about it:

Another topic the senator wants to address is Social Security reform. Carper plans to introduce Social Security reforms that were included in a 2010 proposal by former GOP Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles. Their plan would increase the retirement age for full benefits to 69 by 2075 and slow the increase of benefits over time.Such legislation wouldn’t count as a deficit-reduction measure because Social Security is paid for through payroll taxes. But saving Social Security money would give Democrats a bargaining chip in negotiating with Republicans to increase tax revenues, Carper said. (The mind reels.)

Carper could face an uphill battle in targeting Social Security. Defenders of the program say the Simpson-Bowles plan would significantly cut benefits unnecessarily.

“I think it’s a disastrous idea and not only will I oppose it but I, along with other senators, will be introducing legislation which will prevent cuts to Social Security benefits and for cuts to the benefits of disabled veterans, which is what the Carper proposal would do,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

So Tom Carper will once again don his green eyeshade like he purportedly did when he was State Treasurer. He’ll search every nook and cranny for savings. Except not in defense, not in financial reform, not in anything but entitlement reform. BTW, is ‘entitlement reform’ one of those poll-tested phrases from the Frank Luntz laboratory? You know, like death taxes? Sure sounds like it.

So. Here’s what we know in January of 2013. For the next six years, Tom Carper will be some sort of cross between his departed pal Joe Lieberman and Senator ‘$200 Toilet Seats’ Bill Roth. Except that Carper will be searching for $200 Toilet Seats in the homes of people who rely on Social Security, not in the Pentagon.

He’ll also be ‘reaching across the aisle’ to side with the Rethugs in their 70-year crusade to destroy the New Deal. He said so.

Due to his longevity and ongoing suckitude, I can now safely argue that Tom Carper is the single worst elected official in Delaware history.

Care to disagree?

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  1. Jason330 says:

    This reads like he is trying to fill the void created by O’Donnell’s defeat.

  2. Carper was always an accountant at heart.

    Make that an accountant with no heart.

  3. mediawatch says:

    Well, El Som, it’s pretty easy to find a significant number of officials who could rival Carper for that distinction. From the relatively recent past, we could consider Ruth Ann Minner, Janet Rzewnicki, M. Jane Brady and (sorry, JPC) KWS. Not saying all those were/are worse than Carper — just that he’s part of a fairly select group.

    What Carper doesn’t get is that, rather than sitting sadly in despair when the game was over, he failed us all by not making himself a significant player in trying to achieve the objective that he sought. Maybe I (or we) wouldn’t have agreed with whatever he wanted, but far better to stand up and lead than to sit back and whine.

    As for changing the SS retirement age to 69 by 2075 — you, me and Carper will be long gone by then, and I think giving 60 years’ notice to today’s 6-year-olds is more than adequate. On that one, my knee doesn’t jerk quite as quickly as yours.

  4. True, MW. My point is that, for at least the last 25 of his going-on-40(!) years in ‘public service’, Carper has been, at best, a classic DINO.

    His notion of bipartisanship is finding 3 or 4 other Blue Dog Democrats to cross the aisle and find common cause with the Rethugs.

    And his notion of putting SS on the table as a ‘bargaining chip’ for even higher tax cuts defines, in my mind, the term ‘unilateral surrender’.

  5. liberalgeek says:

    If none of us will be here by 2075, why does Carper need to do anything about it? What sort of budgeting tricks made by Lincoln did Carper have to grapple with?

  6. A least someone is representing us.

  7. liberalgeek says:

    By “us” I’m going to assume that you mean “crazy-ass right wing nuts”

  8. mediawatch says:

    RD,
    You could do us a favor by having your guys nominate Carper as your candidate.
    Come to think of it, if you had done that in 2012, Carper probably would have gotten more votes on the R line than Kevin rhymes with Suede.

  9. cassandra_m says:

    Even better, if none of us will be here in 2075, why not just eliminate the cap for SS contributions so that future generations don’t have to deal with this bullshit?

  10. bamboozer says:

    Carper must go, but how to do it? At this point he deems himself immune to the ballot box and may well be given Delaware’s reluctance to put out the political trash. It’s cold comfort that he can’t live forever, in the end I’m afraid we’ll have to wait for a “Bill Roth moment” to remove his lordship. Hopefully before he “reaches across the aisle” total DINO style.

  11. Problem is, Bamboozer, that Carper may have run his last race.

    Meaning he no longer even has to pay lip service to Democratic or progressive principles.

    Plus, health permitting, he’s in for six more years.

  12. Andy says:

    It seems so long ago that Carper through surrogates gained control of the NCC Democratic Party and Ultmately the State Party.If you notice most Dems in power have past ties to Carper

  13. SussexAnon says:

    “Carper must go, but how to do it?”

    If only we had a primary challenger. Or a third party candidate running against him……. oh wait. We did. This site punted on both.

  14. puck says:

    At least Carper voted against the deal’s eye-popping tax cuts for rich investors.

  15. cassandra_m says:

    And how stupid is this:

    This site punted on both.

    Neither your 3rd party candidate or the primary challenger had the skills to put up a viable (or credible) campaign. What this site did or did not do would never compensate for a Really Bad Campaign.

  16. Steve Newton says:

    Actually, this site didn’t punt on both–and I don’t speak as a fan in this regard. Multiple posters and commenters said they wouldn’t vote for Carper and would vote Green in protest.

    But that doesn’t mean the Greens or the Libertarians or the IPOD or primary challengers has any right to expect them to run the campaigns for them or even donate cash until they reach a certain threshold level.

    When they had what they considered a viable candidate I know people on this site worked hard to help primary KWS with Mitch Crane.

    But I bet even cassandra is tickled by the idea that you think they have that much power.

  17. traveler515 says:

    I agree with the story, but not the implication that Carper matters. Hopefully Boehner’s comment to Reid stiffened his spine enough to introduce dramatic fillibuster and cloture rule changes. Let Carper make his noises and postures to no avail.

  18. cassandra_m says:

    I’m not exactly tickled — I wish that we could throw around a little more clout. But I don’t mind being pretty clear about the limitations of a liberal Delaware blog.

    And Steve is right is that Tom Carper cheerleaders are pretty thin on the ground here. Lots of commenters and editors made it pretty plain that they were voting ABC — Anyone But Carper.

    But back to the topic — the more that I think about this the madder I get that he wants to focus on SS and Medicare. There are *still* way too many of us not working — even here in Delaware — and I’m stunned that Pete Peterson’s agenda gets done before the agenda of the people who need to be working.

  19. “Plus, health permitting, he’s in for six more years.”

    Did anyone catch Mike Matthews’ hilarious instagram tweet this morning

    - Carper letter telling him – personally — as in scratched out formal salutation and added post script – how he’s tanned, fit and rested and ready to go…..

    Mike Matthews ‏@dwablog
    Received this in the mail. Yesterday. Wonder if he does this for all his constituents and not just formerly http://instagr.am/p/UBc7hXw1hZ/

    On a serious note, yes, Carper is echoing the Chamber of Commerce’s bottom line and his protest vote was that the deal didn’t go far enough on catfood commission entitlement cuts. Where is the frickin’ Pentagon budget in here….

  20. Jason330 says:

    Thanks for that link Nancy. I see his staffer used “anxious” when he meant “eager.” And I once thought his staff was the A-team.

  21. SussexAnon says:

    “I don’t mind being pretty clear about the limitations of a liberal Delaware blog.” Never have truer words been spoken. And sitting on the sidelines only feeds that meme.

    “But that doesn’t mean the Greens or the Libertarians or the IPOD or primary challengers has any right to expect them to run the campaigns for them or even donate cash until they reach a certain threshold level. ” – I made no suggestion to run a campaign. How about doing SOMETHING to at least make Carper sweat a little? Perhaps that is beyond the limitations of a liberal delaware blog.

  22. cassandra_m says:

    And sitting on the sidelines only feeds that meme.

    As he says with some authority.

    If you can do this better, then send us a link to your site when you get it rolling.

  23. puck says:

    Who was telling me just the other day Carper isn’t a blue dog?

    I’m surprised Carper didn’t vote for it for the investment tax cuts alone. At least that shows he’s not in this for his wealthy donors.

  24. Jason330 says:

    “make Carper sweat a little” Thanks for the laugh. Although, it would make sense to try and have an impact on Senator Coons. He is up for reelection in a scant two years. After that he’ll have the 6 year election cycle padding that turns the Senate into a virtual sinecure.

  25. MIke says:

    Sickening.

    With Senator Bennet in his corner and about to be the chair of the DSCC we could see many potential obstacles to progressive bills down the road and more fiscal conservatism.

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