Ds can no longer campaign on R's desire to Medicare and Soc Security, now that O has agreed itJust utter foolishness. I've already written a How To post, so let's try another way of thinking about it:
Suppose that Barack Obama and the Democrats succeed in getting Republicans to agree, as part of the second-stage process of the debt limit deal, to include revenues in a deficit reduction package. Does anyone think that as a result Republicans would refrain from running against Democrats on taxes? Of course not.
For that matter: does anyone think that Republicans who vote for the debt limit deal won't attack Democrats on Pentagon spending, if the polls show that it would work?
Indeed, we just finished a fight in which Republicans supported higher deficits than Democrats (or at least than Obama); does anyone think that Republicans will therefore not use claims that they will lower deficits as an issue in 2012? Of course not.
Is there currently a huge gap between what Democrats want on Medicare and Social Security and what Republicans want? Of course there is -- even if one credits (or blames) Democrats with actively preferring the cuts that they offered in response to GOP demands (for larger cuts), what Democrats offered was nothing remotely like what Republicans voted for in the budget Paul Ryan wrote for them.
Besides: recall that ACA already contained Medicare cuts, and that Republicans were apt to run against those cuts anyway, regardless of what Obama and the Democrats did during the current Congress, and of course despite the plain fact that virtually all Republicans voted for those cuts after first campaigning against them.
I'm sure Reich doesn't think of this kind of logic as defeatist, fatalist thinking, but that's of course what it is. Democrats should certainly hope that no one running actual campaigns follows that line of thinking next year. If attacking the GOP position on Medicare was a good idea back in the spring, it's still a good idea regardless of what happened in the debt limit negotiations and regardless of what happens in the next round of the budget fight.