First, Nancy Pelosi joined Steny Hoyer in supporting the Simpson-Bowles "Granny's New Diet" deficit proposal. (My thoughts about why she changed her mind are here.)
Now we have news that Pete Peterson (via the Peter G. Peterson Foundation) is hosting a "2012 Summit" to save America's fiscal future. Website here if you need proof.
All you need to know? Pete Peterson lives for one reason only — to kill off Social Security. Every crazed billionaire has a project. This is his. (No exaggeration; check the link. It's an excellent William Greider piece.)
From the "Summit" invite (but click fast; pages that name these names disappear fast at the "Summit" website). The underscoring below is mine:
Fiscal deadlines ... crossroads ... compromise ... motivate lawmakers ... Pete Peterson. Smells like a plan.Media Advisory
PETERSON FOUNDATION TO CONVENE 3RD ANNUAL FISCAL SUMMIT IN WASHINGTON ON MAY 15
Participants to include President Bill Clinton, Speaker of the House John Boehner, Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, Senator Rob Portman, Congressman Paul Ryan, Congressman Chris Van Hollen, and National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform Co-Chair Alan Simpson
NEW YORK (April 18, 2011) — Against the backdrop of the upcoming elections, and with a series of key fiscal deadlines approaching at the end of the year, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s 2012 Fiscal Summit: America’s Case for Action will feature the nation’s leading experts and elected officials in discussions about the fiscal, economic, and political crossroads facing the country. ...
This year’s summit will explore opportunities for compromise and establish the urgent need for action on these challenges, as well as highlight the voices of engaged citizens from across the country. The 2012 Fiscal Summit will work to generate the momentum necessary to motivate lawmakers to take action essential to preserving the American Dream.
Two of the participants in this "Fiscal Summit" are Bill Clinton and Paul Ryan. Have you figured out yet they're batting for the same team — the one that you're not on?
More from Clinton here.
Have you figured out yet there's zero distance between what Clinton wants and what Obama wants, safety-net wise?
Oh, and here's that media invite as a screencap, in case it too disappears from the "Summit" website.
Click to see in a new tab.
I'll close on a positive note. This isn't over; there's an election coming, and that brings leverage and opportunity.
Pelosi may not be toppled, but she can be repeatedly embarrassed in her district. There are senators up as well, not to mention Mr. Smarter-than-you.
We do have some leverage; we just have to use it. I get that that's scary, but this is the safety net, folks.
(To follow on Twitter or to send links: @Gaius_Publius)