Sunday, August 07, 2011
Cleaver: How to build a satan sandwich
In his weekly EC from DC column, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo. explains his satan sandwich remark, which was the number one sound bite on nearly every news program after the debt ceiling compromise last week.
Friends, you have by now heard the phrase 'satan sandwich' a bit more often than you had heard it mentioned before. Let me say that I will call a Satan Sandwich like I see it, but I will never call another person by that name. This cartoon by Matt Wuerker says it better than I could. This debt deal was a terrible deal, without balance or real compromise. Democrats got nothing in this deal, but what truly troubles me is that the American people got less than nothing. I still believe that the budget of the United States is a moral document; it should reflect our commitment to protect the poor and the middle-class, defend our commitments to seniors, and make wise investments to create good jobs and strengthen our economy.
Democracy demands compromise. In this deal, some were willing to compromise, some were willing to allow default merely to prove a point. Still, I was not willing to see the economy fall into an abyss. The point I am attempting to make, perhaps poorly, is that I would never have allowed our country to fall into default on our bills and obligations. My vote was not needed to prevent this calamity, and my commitment to all of those I represent compelled me to vote against such an unfair, one sided measure, void of any compromise and balance.
I could not bring myself to vote for the so-called "Budget Control Act" that passed the House and Senate, and that was later signed into law by President Obama. I remain concerned about the extent of the cuts, the absence of revenue enhancements, the triggers, and the exclusivity of this so-called ‘super congress’. Most of all, I am concerned about how few have made decisions that will affect the lives of so many. The phone calls, e-mails, faxes, Facebook messages, and tweets you shared with me told me what we really needed was a bipartisan, balanced agreement, with both spending cuts and revenue increases to reduce the deficit and rebuild our economy.