POLITICAL observations & opinions

* NYT: the Democrats should vote for this odious tax deal … LMW: perhaps that’s the best choice now, but this debacle is the clear consequence of a failure by the president and the Senate (not Nancy) to take the fight to the Republicans from day one … appeasement of bullies never works … the huge opportunity we worked so hard for has been squandered.

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 8, 2010

a failure to confront the bully has led to inevitable consequences ... appeasement never works


Something to watch …

how will House Democrats change the deal?

and if they do, what will then happen in the Senate?


NYT Editorial (12/7/10) …

  • Liberal Democrats are in revolt at the tax deal that President Obama struck with Republicans on Monday, and it is not hard to understand why.
  • But the Democrats should vote for this deal, because it is the only one they are going to get.
  • Without this bargain, income taxes on the middle class would rise. Unemployment insurance for millions of Americans would expire. And many other important tax breaks for low- and middle-income workers — including a 2 percent payroll tax cut and college tuition credits — would not be possible.
  • The president, and particularly Congressional Democrats, might not be in this bind if they had fought harder against the high-end tax cuts before the midterm elections.
  • But that moment has passed.
  • The real responsibility for what’s wrong with the tax deal lies with Republicans.
  • Using the parliamentary rules of the Senate, 42 Republican senators threatened to raise middle-class taxes if Democrats let tax cuts expire on the richest 2 percent of Americans.

read the entire editorial at … http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/08/opinion/08wed1.html?_r=1&ref=opinion


Maybe this is the best deal now available, but only because there has been a foolish insistence by the president on negotiating for all this time with Republicans who offered nothing, and by the Senate in failing to push the fight (pick your issue) to an actual filibuster that would have embarrassed and perhaps broken the Republican intransigence.

We expected better. We deserved better. Appeasement of bullies never works. A huge opportunity we worked so hard for  has been squandered.


6 Responses to “* NYT: the Democrats should vote for this odious tax deal … LMW: perhaps that’s the best choice now, but this debacle is the clear consequence of a failure by the president and the Senate (not Nancy) to take the fight to the Republicans from day one … appeasement of bullies never works … the huge opportunity we worked so hard for has been squandered.”

  1. Lew Weinstein said

    re Hillary … it’s hard to say what specifically might have been. However, she would have had two advantages over Obama: (1) more experience in Congress and with Congress while in the White House; (2) better understanding of how to use the power of the Presidency and a more combative personality … but she lost!

  2. Jonathan said

    I want to believe in Obama, so maybe the thoughts that follow were reached with that in mind. I apologize for the sports metaphor, but…

    The President, despite his party controlling both houses of Congress, has seen a well-coordinated Republican party vote exclusively along strict party lines (for political gain and societal/economic loss) on (almost?) every piece of legislation that has come before Congress in Obama’s term. His own party, meanwhile, has been fractured, critical, and inept in ways that have been harmful to the President and the party politically while simultaneously inhibiting good policy on behalf of the American people. In effect, the President is fighting on behalf of the traditional non-wealthy Americans who are the Democratic base with a weak, ineffective team of congressional Democrats.

    As a quarterback, he is expected to guide the team and he will receive the bulk of the blame or credit. But if the rest of his players are unwilling to follow the play book, miss their assignments, and leave him unprotected, his only choice is to do the best he can with what he has. Unfortunately, politically, he doesn’t have many quality players on his team.

    So, Obama has repeatedly compromised early to get something for his team (the American people ignored and sacrificed as a matter of policy by the Republican party). Continuing the football metaphor, the President has fought single-handedly to get sufficient field position to score field goals, but due to a lack of skilled, disciplined players on his team, he has foregone the possibility of scoring touchdowns. In the end, he may win some games this way, or he may just avoid a blow out. What he won’t do, however, is excite the fans by going for it or bolster his ineffective teammates by pretending they actually capable of helping the team.

    I’m curious, given the realities of congressional Democratic ineptitude, what do you and your readers really think would have happened with another Democrat (Hillary?) in the White House?

    • Lew Weinstein said

      If Hillary was in the White House, the Democrats would probably have accomplished much more in the past two years. Her goals are similar to Obama’s. She’s just as smart and much more experienced. And she’s a whole lot tougher. She would have ignored the Republicans, passed healthcare in a much shorter time, and moved on to other matters.

      But … she lost in the primaries, largely due to her own complacency and mistakes. So who knows what mistakes she might have made as president.

      Like you, I want to support Obama, to believe he can carry on and become more effective. But so far, I remain enormously disappointed.

      • Jonathan said

        If Hillary were dealing with the same, lame Congress, why do you believe she would have had more success?

        What would/could she have done that would have unified Congressional Democrats and secured the party-line Democratic votes needed for health care and other issues opposed by the unified, do nothing Republicans?

  3. Evan said

    no argument there, though what exactly this means when the dems are so divided by definition, isn’t clear.

  4. Joe said

    The worst part of this awful deal is the Social Security “temporary” payroll tax cut which of course will become permanent (like all the others) in 2012 and will cripple an extremely solvent program that has been attacked and propagandized so much that young people are weakening in their support for it-now it really WILL be weakened and privatization can’t be far behind. Obama – we hardly knew ye! But what could you expect from a man who has just said the the original SS was for “widows and orphans.” Clueless in the DC bubble.

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