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This is rather interesting. The WSJ has a lengthy article out today that supposedly shows how we've gotten to the point we are in the fiscal cliff negotiations. And if true, it kind of makes even bigger fools of those of us who went into hysterics over Obama's supposed cave on Social Security in his latest compromise offer. Because according to the WSJ, the serious talks broke down on Monday.

In truth, talks to secure a big deficit-reduction deal had already broken down Monday afternoon in the office of Mr. Boehner (R., Ohio), a Wall Street Journal reconstruction shows.

And even better about this story, it shows Obama going all Michael Corleone on the Drunk, Weepy Oompa-Loompa:

Mr. Obama repeatedly lost patience with the speaker as negotiations faltered. In an Obal office meeting last week, he told Mr. Boehner that if the sides didn't reach agreement, he would use his inagural address and his State of the Union speech to tell the country the Republicans were at fault.

At one point, according to notes taken by a participant, Mr. Boehner told the president, "I put $800 billion [in tax revenue] on the table. What do I get for that?"

"You get nothing," the president said. "I get that for free."

In other words:
"My offer is this. Nothing. Nothing except the tax hikes on the rich, which I would appreciate if you offered to me personally.
Want more? Here's Obama offering the DWOL a helpful little reminder.
The president repeatedly reminded Mr. Boehner of the election results: "You're asking me to accept Mitt Romney's tax plan. Why would I do that?"
And this section in particular made me laugh, because it shows (a) the depths of the DWOL's and indeed Republicans' delusion and (b) Obama's proper attitude toward it.
The president told him he could choose one of two doors. The first represented a big deal. If Mr. Boehner chose it, the president said, the country and financial markets would cheer. Door No. 2 represented a spike in interest rates and a global recession.

Mr. Boehner said he wanted a deal along the lines of what the two men had negotiated in the summer of 2011 in a fight over raising the debt ceiling. "You missed your opportunity on that," the president told him.

Sorry, DWOL. You don't get a do-over.

Reading this article, it's pretty obvious Obama had no real faith in the DWOL's ability to get his caucus to agree on anything. Indeed, it gives more support to my belief that the deal offer he made that got so many of us riled up was nothing more than a show to prove to the public that he was willing to compromise and be serious about avoiding the cliff, while the GOP is not. And thanks to the events of Thursday, he had done that in spades.

One thing's for sure. I like this tough, no-nonsense Obama far more than the "caves over everything" Obama.

Stay tuned...

8:22 PM PT: Wow. I never expected this diary to get this much attention. Thanks for all your opinions, folks!

And I'm sorry, I probably should have been more specific about the Drunk Weepy Oompa-Loompa (DWOL) name for Boner. (I tried putting the full name in the title, but ran out of space.) Perhaps, as some have suggested, DWOol is a better option. (I must admit, Drunk While On-Line never occured to me.)

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