If the Super Committee that Senator Patty Murray is co-chairing proposes cuts to Social Security and Medicare I believe Washingtonians should mount a recall effort against her. This is especially needed if the Super Committee endorses no tax increases on the 1% and no substantial cuts to military spending.
Grassroots Democrats must stop allowing their leaders to sell out fundamental Democratic principles. We want Medicare for All, not cuts to Medicare. In fact, the Washington State Democratic Platform calls for “comprehensive single-payer national health care” (plank 10).
Nor can grassroots Democrats allow their leaders to “blame the Republicans.” No deal is probably better than a bad deal. If the Super Committee is unable to come to agreement, automatic cuts would be split evenly between military and social spending; at least there’d be major cuts to military spending. Moreover, the automatic cuts would exempt Social Security and Medicare (see here).
Senator Murray is the co-chair. She bears maximal responsibility. The person or people who chose the Super Committee — with six Republicans, three centrist Democratic senators (Murray, Kerry, and Baucus), and three Democratic representatives (Bercerra, Van Hollen, and Clyburn) — also bear responsibility. (Fortunately, the three Democratic House members on the Super Committee have a mostly progressive voting record; see here, here, and here.) After all, the Democrats control the White House and the Senate. Did President Obama have a hand in orchestrating the Super Committee?
Note: I phoned Murray’s D.C. office (202 224-2621) and informed them of this proposed recall effort. “I’m serious.” The woman who answered the phone seemed shocked. “O.K. I’ll inform the Senator.”
Addendum: Someone pointed out that the Washington State Constitution has rules about when public officials can be recalled:
SECTION 33 RECALL OF ELECTIVE OFFICERS. Every elective public officer of the state of Washington expect [except] judges of courts of record is subject to recall and discharge by the legal voters of the state, or of the political subdivision of the state, from which he was elected whenever a petition demanding his recall, reciting that such officer has committed some act or acts of malfeasance or misfeasance while in office, or who has violated his oath of office, stating the matters complained of, signed by the percentages of the qualified electors thereof, hereinafter provided, the percentage required to be computed from the total number of votes cast for all candidates for his said office to which he was elected at the preceding election, is filed with the officer with whom a petition for nomination, or certificate for nomination, to such office must be filed under the laws of this state, and the same officer shall call a special election as provided by the general election laws of this state, and the result determined as therein provided. [AMENDMENT 8, 1911 p 504 Section 1. Approved November, 1912.]
According to the dictionary, misfeasance means, “the wrongful performance of a normally lawful act; the wrongful and injurious exercise of lawful authority.” Cutting Social Security and Medicare without raising taxes on the 1% and without substantially cutting military spending would certainly be wrongful and injurious. A legal dictionary defines misfeasance as: “n. management of a business, public office or other responsibility in which there are errors and an unfortunate result through mistake or carelessness, but without evil intent and/or violation of law. Misfeasance is distinguished from ‘malfeasance,’ which is intentional conduct in violation of the law.”
If it’s not legally possible to mount a recall effort, Democrats should censure Murray for betrayal of trust.