I have at times been critical of this administration and at other times been supportive even when it was unpopular at the time to do so in the community.
When it comes to the compromise, however, despite the acknowledged attributes, I still find the bitter corporatist pill of continued billion dollar government giveaways to the wealthiest Americans unconscionable and unsustainable.
Now, could Obama have gotten a better compromise, all things considered?
NO - and there isn't anything more than at best a wishfully speculative faith that he could have garnered more political support by morphing into a less calm and cool personality, indeed all the evidence suggests rather that he defiantly maintains an approval rate only four points shy of the 53% he was elected with because despite everyone suffering, he is believed by those Americans to be a genuine and good person in a broken system built for liars - the only possible shield for him to maintain a 49% approval rating with such high unemployment if one really thinks about it, and I'd challenge anyone who disagrees to provide an alternate explanation for this successful middle finger to historical economic and polling realities, because there really isn't one that has even been suggested let alone substantiated.
No, the REALLY irritating thing about these damned CEO welfare kings who pay to fund "grassroots" front groups that then bitch about the deficit is that Obama is actually telling us the truth about this damned compromise; yes, we would have been worse off trying to do this all next year with more Republican votes, and yes, given what he got in return, it IS the most he could have squeezed out of them at the time.
BUT, you know what, that's not the point - the point is that IT'S STILL NOT ENOUGH, NOT CLOSE - certainly not in return for granting the Republicans the passage of such an awful policy for the income gap and consequently for consumer spending and economic growth in the long run.
I have no doubt at all what happened here; economists and advisors looked at the big businesses who are planning their coming year and the markets who base their current strength on such speculation and said, hmmm, since we're trying to stimulate the economy, and the markets will react badly enough to the news of no tax cuts for the rich at the exact wrong time in the business cycle in the exact wrong year of the economic cycle given what we're trying to do, let's avoid that pitfall.
The problem? THAT HOLDS US HOSTAGE, and not just to Republicans as Obama suggested, but to the corporations who employ them themselves. Let's put it quite plainly: they threaten to bring down the market if they don't get their way, and spook people with the prospect of a self-fulfilling prophecy taking hold from there. It's not a grip we should validate or certainly that we should tighten on ourselves unless we expect the same thing to happen again in two years - and FOREVER.
So, did the President get what he could at that one moment in time? Yes. But it's NOT over - Democrats in Congress have an OBLIGATION to reopen negotations and make every effort to take the billionaire handouts out, and at the absolute minimum SQUEEZE EVERY LAST DROP in terms of more concessions if they must in the end stay in - because if they do stay in and there's ANY hope of winning the tax cut fight in two years, every ounce of fight mustered now is a beginning to that road, and every absence a further weakening in ever winning that conflict.
This should not be all about Obama or trusting or distrusting him or sides arguing when we all have a common interest and a place we can agree: the fact is it is a defining moment for ALL progressives to unite and demand a better deal EVEN IF Obama got the best he could (or even if you believe he didn't), as it is now up to Congressional Democrats to push the President to negotiate just as the Congressional Republicans did.
We still have time, and Congress does NOT need to go home on December 18 NOR should Democrats in Congress be considering the idea of a quiet holiday at home after signing off on this because it will NOT happen; constituents at home will NOT LEAVE YOU ALONE Congress if you sign off on a trillion dollar giveaway to the rich without a REAL fight with REAL tangible results, so as the saying goes, DON'T BOTHER COMING HOME until then.
Here's an idea, why don't you force Republicans to filibuster through the Christmas vacation on a bill with middle class tax cuts and unemployment extensions only? Make them twist in the wind until the last moment, and any negotiations taking place can only move incrementally in our favor at the worst, not against. We should NOT wait until next year's Congress, I don't advocate that for a second, but we should use every second of this year for the precious time it is.
Republicans after all, want to act like they're already the majority in the House, the people spoke in the election, yadda yadda yadda - fine, let them be; for this next month, Democrats in the House should take on the fiery minority spirit as they've suggested, and couple that with the House Democratic majority which still currently exists to SQUEEZE EVERY LAST DROP out of these fuckers in more negotiations.
Congressional Democrats, you are after all still in control for as long as you stay, and the Republicans are not - so what's the rush to leave majority power go home to a bunch of angry struggling constituents who were sticking by you until they thought sold them out to the rich? Do you want to say you did your best and actually have us, you know, BELIEVE YOU?
Well - then you'd better pull out every stop to sweeten this turd sandwich, and if and only if your every effort to remove the turd itself fails. The current compromise sucks, but Obama at least can say he got some concessions - will you be able to say you did the same? Because this bill will barely pass the smell test of the American people even after the combination of BOTH efforts, and simply CANNOT without both.