Who coined ‘Catfood Commission’?: a Contest!

by Bruce Webb

(A contest with no prizes, AB doesn’t have fundraisers or sell t-shirts and is lucky if ad money keeps the servers on. And this is just a solo effort by me anyway.)

‘Catfood Commission’ or alternately ‘Cat Food Commission’ apparently started as a lefty-blogger in-joke but has since caught on in a big way, to the point that it is moving the messaging on Social Security. For example below the fold you will find an invite to a counterprotest in DC that hit my in-box specifically using this theme. And note they don’t even have to explain the reference directly, this one went viral in a big way. So who gets credit?

Early contenders are Digby of Hullabaloo and Jane Hamsher of FireDogLake but they might have just picked it up from their commenters or bloggers. A preliminary search on ‘Catfood Commission’ turns up this one from Lambert at CorrenteWire on June 16th, but already seems to be assumed to be familiar to the sites readership Cat Food Commission is strategic default by the rich. I’ll be poking around and updating as I find earlier cites, others can put candidates in the comments. But somebody deserves credit for this one.

(Update 1) So far it looks like Jane may have conceptual credit, she drew the connection between the Peterson inspired Fiscal Responsibility Commission that was supposed to come out of the Fiscal Responsibility Summit all the way back in Feb 2009. Hedge Fund Billionaire Pete Peterson Key Speaker At Obama “Fiscal Responsibility Summit,” Will Tell Us All Why Little Old Ladies Must Eat Cat Food. But I am still interested in finding the first citation of ‘Catfood Commission’ specifically referring to the Obama Commission.

Update 2) A search at Digby shows she drew the same conceptual connection a few days after Jane but first seemed to use the label ‘Catfood Commission’ in connection with the attempt to attach Conrad-Gregg to the Debt Limit Bill in this post from Nov 12, 2009 It’s Baaaack

Not that it ever went away. The catfood commission is the Zombie that has been clawing at the door since Obama was elected:

Please join the Americans United Protest at the Young Guns event tonight at 5:30 outside Johnny’s Half Shell near Union Station. There will be a big display of cat food backing our protest against the Republican plan to gut Social Security.

Seniors, Activists Gather for Cat Food Feast; As Republican “Young Guns” Take Aim at Social Security, Medicare
Reps. Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor Unveil New Book, Old Plan to Force Millions of Seniors into Poverty

On Tuesday, September 14, 2010 at 5:30 p.m., seniors and advocates will gather for a symbolic feast of “Cat Food on the Half Shell” outside the restaurant where Republican leaders will snack on lobster and tout their plans to gut Medicare and Social Security and force millions into poverty.

Ed Coyle, National Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans will detail the potential damage that could result if Rep. Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy’s misguided plans to replace Medicare with vouchers to buy private insurance and to gamble your Social Security on Wall Street take affect under a Boehner-led Congress.

What: Public Protest; Date: Tuesday, September 14th; When: 5:30 pm EDT (event will end by 6 pm)
Where: Side walk outside Johnny’s Half Shell 400 North Capitol Street, NW (1 block from Union Station) Corner of North Capitol and Louisiana Ave. (in DC)