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I wrote earlier today that part of what was keeping the tax cut extension "deal" -- if there is one -- up in the air was that it may have been negotiated with the wrong guy. Mitch McConnell just isn't the Senate Minority Leader anymore. But of course, it would be equally ridiculous to try to negotiate with the actual leader, Jim DeMint. There's nothing DeMint actually wants from the White House or Congressional Dems except their continued victimization, so there aren't any deals possible.

Still, as I noted earlier, it's painful to watch things like this:

One administration official told POLITICO that Obama was so dispirited after his Nov. 18th meeting with the Democratic leadership that he decided, then and there, to place his faith in direct talks with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
I bring that quote up again specifically to note that a White House source has since denied that these comments are an accurate reflection of sentiment there. Being Politico, of course, no one here is much surprised.

In the meantime, though, there's this from George Stephanopolous, who actually did deal with a Senate much closer in composition and outlook to the one the Obama White House appears to imagine it's dealing with:

Democrat leaders Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are pushing for changes to the tax deal President Obama cut with Congressional Republicans.  But White House adviser David Axelrod shut down that hope this morning, saying “the framework of the deal is in place.”

“Obviously compromise means compromise. That means each side accepts things they don’t want,” he said. “Republicans essentially traded away everything in the package for tax cuts for the wealthy temporarily and this more generous treatment of estates. We don’t like it, but what we got in exchange was significant tax relief for the middle class, an extension of unemployment insurance for people who have lost their jobs in this down economy.”

"Democrat" leaders. Sigh. From George F-ing Stephanopolous.

And I love this one. Here's a deal cut (supposedly) between the White House and Congressional Republicans. When Congressional Dems say they'd like to see some changes, the White House says, "Compromise means compromise. That means each side accepts things they don't want."

Now, which side were Congressional Dems in this, again?

Two parties came together to negotiate, and hand the deal to a third party. Third party says, "We want some changes."

Second party says, "You don't understand compromise."

Third party says, "We weren't invited. You haven't even begun to negotiate with us."

Second party says, "You're sanctimonious."

Meanwhile, first party says, "I forgot to bring any votes with me. But thanks for the lunch."

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Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 07:00 PM PST.

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