Focus your anger regarding debt ceiling deal on voting GOP hostage takers out of office, rather than playing into the GOP’s hands by attacking Obama.

Winning Progressive is on vacation this week, so I am going to keep this post about the debt ceiling deal short. The deal that has apparently been reached, the details of which can be read here, is bad, as it focuses far too heavily on cuts to government spending at a time when we should be talking about increased stimulus to deal with unemployment and sluggish economic growth.

But, there are two quick points that I hope all of us progressives will keep in mind.

First, President Obama and the Democrats did manage to get some concessions through this deal that should help minimize the damage. Most importantly, they prevented the economic disaster that would have been caused if we had defaulted, which is what the Tea Party activists wanted. In addition, Social Security and Medicaid are exempted from the automatic cuts that would be triggered if Congress does not find other reductions.  Also, Medicare reductions are only to providers, not beneficiaries, and a good portion of cuts would be from military spending. Finally, a large amount of the cuts are delayed until 2013, so the blow to the economy would be at least delayed. Those are all important features that the Democrats managed to get to improve an overall bad deal.

Second, in order to repair the damage and shift the debate, we must direct our anger over the debt ceiling deal at the GOP hostage takers, not the Democrats who had to negotiate to save our economy. And we must redouble our efforts to get a Democratic Congress back in 2012 so that we can turn back the cuts in the deal. If we progressives get discouraged or engage in a circular firing squad against President Obama and the Democrats, we will only be giving the GOP even more power. Let’s not play into the conservatives’ hands. Instead, let’s fight to take our government back from the GOP.