Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, red in the face, took off his jacket and rolled up a shirt sleeve — but there was no relief from the discomfort of his affliction.
The poor guy is suffering from triangulation.
The man triangulating him, President Obama, has proposed cuts to Social Security and Medicare as part of an attempt to find a middle ground in the budget debate. For Sanders (I), a liberal member of the Senate Democratic caucus, the betrayal stung so badly that he literally took to the streets, joining left-wing activists for a protest Tuesday afternoon outside the White House.
“When Barack Obama was running for president in 2008, he said that he would not cut Social Security. We want the president to remember what he said and not go back on his word!” Sanders shouted into a microphone, as cops watched warily.
Calling Obama’s offer “nuts,” Sanders went on: “The White House tells us they want to defend the middle class — that’s their mantra. If you want to defend the middle class you don’t cut Social Security, you don’t cut Medicare, and you don’t cut benefits for disabled vets.”
“Say it!” somebody shouted.
“Give it to ’em!” somebody else called out.
Sanders’s ire was real, as was that of his fellow demonstrators: a pair of congressmen plus representatives of the AFL-CIO, the National Organization for Women, MoveOn.org, Campaign for America’s Future and the rest of the liberal establishment. “Inhumane,” they said of Obama’s proposal. “Dickensian … reprehensible.”