I'm pretty furious that Obama isn't going to fight on the tax cuts but I hope he's getting something in return for it. For me it would have to be:
- The START treaty
- DADT repeal
- Unemployment extensions for 13 months
- The DREAM Act.
If he can get those in exchange for the temporary extension of the tax cuts, then I'll guess I'll have to say we were lucky it wasn't worst.
But the clock is running out on ANYTHING the Dems want to pass while they still can.
If I were Obama, I would literally expect NOTHING to come out of Congress for the next two years. If I saw even a budget to fund the government, I would be shocked. Believe me, there will be MANY opportunities for fights with the GOP.
But if Obama wants to see anything passed, it has to be before the end of the year. Each of these four things are hugely important to the Democratic base and working class:
- The START treaty to show the world that the US is still capable of working with the international community and is worth pursuing negotiations and deals with.
- The LGBT community will be justly rewarded for this long overdue reform and Obama can explicitly say, "I fulfilled my promise to you."
- The unemployed will not be deserted in the worst recession since the great depression. People will have food on the tables and security for at least a year.
- Latinos will be justly rewarded for their faith in the Democratic party and for keeping Angle, Buck, and Fiorina out of the Senate. Another promise that Obama can explicitly say he fulfilled.
Each of these are very important to Dems and to working people and if they aren't passed now, then there's NO WAY they'll pass in the next two years.
If I was Obama, I feel like I could go into the next two years with these four things under my belt and make it relatively OK--I think he could be set up for the expected stalemate and wait out the next two years.
If he doesn't get DADT Repeal, he'll never hear the end of it from the LGBT community, 30% of which voted Teabagger this last election to spite Dems.
Same thing with the DREAM Act and Latinos. Comprehensive immigration reform is dead and we can set up that public fight but this is the last thing we can do before the end of the year.
The unemployed will not be pawns in a proxy war for a year and the Dems can spend time preparing and waging that public battle. But if they lapse under complete Democratic control, the GOP will get off scott-free as they have the last two years.
So I suppose that if Obama really did secure these things, I guess I can live with the temporary extension for now. I just hope he's smart enough to make the extension expire in a non-election year, perhaps after he's been re-elected and can veto any extension, period.
There will be a whole 2 years to fight with the GOP and paint them as the party of assholes, by assholes, and for assholes.
But now, we're just running out of time to lock in our victories while we still can. Because there will literally be NOTHING accomplished in two years.
I just hope he's at least secured these four things. Guess I should prepare for a letdown just in case.
UPDATE: I should mention that Lieberman has been claiming for a while that he's got 60 on DADT Repeal and that Reid has already filed for cloture on the DREAM Act. So my hope that they've got at least those in the bag is not exactly based on the "goodness" of the Republicans, because they don't have a good side. But you don't usually take those actions unless you have the votes to back them up.