(Salon) -- For Democrats, the past two weeks have been a study in contrasts. This week, they implacably resisted another pointless debt ceiling charade, and House Majority Leader John Boehner backpedaled. In other words, they showed rare resolve and were promptly rewarded.
Yet in the preceding weeks, the majority of congressional Democrats — including more than 80 percent of Senate Democrats — voted for a farm bill that cuts food stamps, an unconscionable action that reconfirmed the party’s moral bankruptcy. At the bill signing last week, President Obama, omitting any mention of the reduction in benefits, mendaciously claimed the legislation “includes protections for vulnerable Americans.” While no one will get booted from the food stamp rolls, the more than $8 billion in benefit reductions (spaced out over 10 years) will adversely affect an estimated 850,000 households in at least 15 states. If Democrats have tired of debt ceiling histrionics, they haven’t deemed food stamps off limits. On display were Democrats’ willingness to punish the poor, their “we’re still better than Republicans” apologias, and their truly astonishing inability to articulate a counternarrative. In contrast to debt ceiling steadfastness, here incompetence and iniquity abounded.