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It's generally a bad sign when you have to strong arm your own team to get a deal done.

A simple poll regarding the Compromiser in Chief:

Poll

When President Obama, as a candidate takes a principled stand (like, say, raising taxes on incomes above $250K) this means

14%15 votes
15%16 votes
11%12 votes
3%4 votes
19%20 votes
10%11 votes
2%3 votes
21%22 votes

| 104 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  $250,000 up to $400,000 (12+ / 0-)

    Not bad. The TP must be FURIOUS. They wanted to keep all tax cuts. The GOP must be FURIOUS. They wanted it to go up to a million dollars.

    Some Democrats in the Senate wanted it raised higher than $250,000.

    It got raised - $150,000 more.

    It's not the end of the world.

    •  Yes, it is the end of the world. (5+ / 0-)

      Obama no longer has any leverage in the debt ceiling talks.

    •  Not bad (0+ / 0-)

      "I smoke. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your fuckin' mouth." --- Bill Hicks

      by voroki on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 08:56:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  For five years I've listened to Obama promise to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aspe4

      raise taxes on incomes over 250k.  He caved last time around, then I listened as he more than promised it this whole year - including a promise to veto anything less.  these promises were made while I worked 16 to 18 hrs a day, seven days a week for 10 weeks in Colorado to get him re-elected.

      He has lost my trust - yeah, THAT is a BFD.  

      And at the moment I do not feel inclined to lift a finger - or a phone - in 2014.  Another BFD especially when you figure how many of us feel that way.

      "Don't Bet Against Us" - President Barack Obama

      by MRA NY on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 09:28:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's insane! (0+ / 0-)

        I won't take issue with your disappointment in Obama but saying you're going to sit 2014 out is disgusting. You may not like how Democrats behave all the time but they are light years ahead of the Republicans. You're ok with giving John Boehner another 2 years to obstruct even minimal progress just cause Obama bent on the income threshold? Really!? That's insane!

        Let's not let 2014 be anything like 2010. Republicans only win when we stay home!

        by Tim D M on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:54:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I wonder what the diarist thinks of (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jack K, Jerry056, JoanMar, TLS66, elmo, v2aggie2

    Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, who suggested a 1 million threshold earlier this year.

    •  Not much (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aspe4

      Democratic leadership  (obama, pelosi, reid, schumer) all haven't accepted that we are negotiating with irrational folks.  Every time they give in, they encourage more hostage-taking.

      I was hopeful they'd learned their lesson but apparently not.

      This was one time they had all the cards in their favor and they still managed to fumble it away.

      I have concluded, as many here have, that both parties are beholden to the same folks on economic matters.  The only place they differ is on social matters (tolerance vs. intolerance).

      Nothing good will happen until Wall Street control of the government is repudiated,

  •  Thank God Obama isnt a purist (17+ / 0-)

    Of course no one like that could get elected president.

    The "real" liberals like Dennis Kucinich and John Edwards never seem to get very far even in Dem primaries.

    Instead of treating the fiscal cliff like a game, Obama will actually make a deal that's good for the country.

    Mock him if you want. I'm sure the person who would have lost their unemployment benefits is happy they can pay the rent and feed their families.

    •  They're eating the seed corn. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gamblndan, pgm 01, Aspe4

      In 10 years, they'll be even worse off.
      In 20 years, their children will be worse off than that.
      This deal is a financial disaster for everyone who is not a millionaire.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 08:56:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Fucking pathetic, fucking pathetic. I normally don (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gamblndan

      "I smoke. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your fuckin' mouth." --- Bill Hicks

      by voroki on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 08:59:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  A much better deal could have been had. At this (0+ / 0-)

      moment, the Bush tax cuts have expired and there are no unemployment benefits.

      Putting a bill out now, today/tomorrow, that would put the tax cuts back in place up to 250k and would reinstate the Unemployment benefits would have been much better.

      Why everyone thinks a deal that may or may not have passed the Senate at this moment, that may or may not pass the House tomorrow or Wed. is such a great thing is beyond me.  Yes, we just went over the cliff despite talk of a deal - why not have gone over it with all our leverage still in tact instead of giving away so much for the illusion that we did not go over the cliff?

      "Don't Bet Against Us" - President Barack Obama

      by MRA NY on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 09:34:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  To be clear, the issue isn't this deal (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aspe4

    It's the capitulation.  It's the failure to keep to your word.  He lost all negotiating credibility with Republicans a long time ago.  He had a chance to snatch it back by sticking to his guns.  If he just held his ground, he'd be negotiating from even greater strength tomorrow.

    But he failed.  Big time.  And the hostage taking in two months will be worse.  Republicans will never come to the table, they will just wait for the inevitable capitulation.

    WORST NEGOTIATOR TO EVER OCCUPY THE WHITE HOUSE.  THANK GOD HE"S NOT NEGOTIATING WITH STALIN AND CHURCHILL, WE'D HAVE PROBABLY COME OUT WORSE THAN GERMANY

    •  O goodness! I am so fucking sick and (8+ / 0-)

      tired of your end-of-world sensational bull crap.
      So he compromised and line went up from 250k to 400k and that is a deal breaker? That means he "caved?"
      WTF!  

      Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

      by JoanMar on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 09:51:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  they all wanted to see the economy ruined (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JoanMar, zizi

        There's this notion that this would magically be disastrous to the Republicans such that they will be compelled to agree to everything up to and including ponies.

        I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that the majority of these teeth-gnashers have safe jobs.

        All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. – Charles Fort

        by subtropolis on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:05:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  When you stand up in front of the world and (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        noble experiment, Aspe4

        say you will veto anything that fails to involve increasing taxes on those that earn 250k and then do that very thing, yes, its is absolutely caving.

        "I smoke. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your fuckin' mouth." --- Bill Hicks

        by voroki on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:06:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aspe4

        It's all about negotiations.  Obama has zero credibility.  And he just signed up for another negotiation in two months with a lot less leverage.

        If he waited one day, he would have been proposing tax cuts and the political calculus would be different.  He could have had his $250k deal and a lot more.  Instead we will have more hostage taking in two months, he will have less leverage and will give away entitlement cuts because he has to to get a deal.

        For a lot people, decreased entitlement cuts will have a dramatic impact on their lives.  Not the end of the world, but a meaningful decline in their quality of life.

        So get off your high horse.  Politics is the art of negotiation and Obama sucks at it.

        Not to mention that he campaigned on a pledge and it took him less than 60 days from the election to break it.

  •  If you thought tonight was acceptable (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aspe4

    just wait 2 months.  

    The tent got so big it now stands for nothing.

    by Beelzebud on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 09:37:30 PM PST

  •  Seems like incredibly bad form... (0+ / 0-)

    to put a negative on a  diary and not even comment on it.  I'm talking to you badlands.

  •  Could you kindly explain what (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zizi

    principle supports the number $250,000 but not the number $400,000?

    I actually used to negotiate transactions as a lawyer. Once in a while, I'd run across someone who'd confuse positions with interests. Someone who sticks with a position and refuses to budge off that position is the true bad negotiator, because they often end up hurting their own interests.

    Go read Professor Fischer's excellent book, "Getting to Yes," and you'll see what I'm talking about.

    •  The problem with your analysis: (0+ / 0-)

      Your negotiations as a lawyer were to solve single discrete cases.  Obama is in a long term serial negotiation over many issues.  His posture in each negotiation affects his position in future negotiations.

      Secondly, I would submit that Republicans are taking the hard line in every negotiation and are not behaving rationally.  Getting to Yes and other books of its ilk are based upon the premise of to rational actors.

      Finally, please don't condescendingly lecture on negotiation.  I feel fairly sure I have negotiated transactions worth a great deal more money than you have and I know that every situation calls for a customized strategy.

      •  Well, actually, no (0+ / 0-)

        I was a transactions lawyer. I would negotiate with parties on multiple issues as they came up during the process of the deal.

        My husband negotiates in the context you describe, though (he's a litigator). But you do get a reputation in the legal community. If you get a reputation of being an unrealistic negotiator, other lawyers won't waste their time trying to settle a case with you.

        And, by the way, the largest transaction I closed  as the lead lawyer was a half a billion dollars.  The largest transaction I closed as part of a team was $900 million dollars. You?

        •  $5B joint venture was my largest (0+ / 0-)

          I was responsible for managing several JVs for my employer, though that was the largest and most complicated.  125 page operating agreement.  Governed a 10 year relationship.  But the "one-upsmanship" between us isn't important.

          My question remains.  If you  are negotiating with someone who is irrational and constantly taking hostages, you simply cannot use Obama's approach.  It only encourages more irrational behavior.

          In a much smaller $$$ context, I was negotiating a retail lease with a broker who kept saying "In 2007, we were offered $25/ft for this space.  You need to give me that.  No free rent."  This was in 2010.  Market was $20 with a year of free rent.  She wouldn't budge.  I finally told her to buy herself a time machine because I wasn't gonna pretend it was 2007.  I did not say, "ok, let's accept your false premise".  How do you think Obama would have handled this?  For the record, we got $19/ft with 9 months free rent.

          Other negotiations (like the $5B one), I've handled by being a completely open book: "This is what I need.  It seems you need this.  Let's figure out how to do right by each other."  The difference is I was dealing with a competent and rational partner.

          "Getting to Yes" and negotiating guides of similar ilk all assume you are negotiating with a rational actor who wants a deal.  The Repubs have made it apparent that their ultimate goal is to obstruct Obama.  That is not the foundation for a successful collaborative negotiation.

          •  Just because you don't understand the rationale (0+ / 0-)

            of the person across the table from you doesn't mean they aren't rational, and dismissing them as irrational is a great way for you to blow your opportunity to make a deal. Republicans are rational, it's just that from their perspective there's more in it for them (usually) to avoid making a deal than to make one. It's the Democrats' job to move them off that position, and make it clear to them that it's more in their interest to deal, than to not deal.

            If you did a 5 billion deal in 125 pages, you might have underlawyered that thing, sorry. The closing certificates in our half billion deals ran more than that.

            And, sorry, again, but your lease example is inapposite.  There are always other places to rent, after all. There is no way around Congress, and the Republican controlled House. You have to get them to "yes," but you suggest does not such thing.

            •  If you think the Repubs are attempting to govern (0+ / 0-)

              rationally, we will just have to agree to disagree.  I'm not a lawyer, I'm a businessman.  125 pages was enough to get the deal done.  It was very successful until 2008, but anyone can write anything here. Maybe I'm a school janitor writing by candle light in my trailer in Montana.  Maybe that's who you are.  None of that matters.  What matters is Obama gave up leverage and will be stuck negotiating again in two months from a much weaker place.  Krugman says is best:

              his {Obama's} evident desire to have a deal before hitting the essentially innocuous fiscal cliff bodes very badly for the confrontation looming in a few weeks over the debt ceiling.

              If Obama stands his ground in that confrontation, this deal won’t look bad in retrospect. If he doesn’t, yesterday will be seen as the day he began throwing away his presidency and the hopes of everyone who supported him.

              So given his negotiation up till now, why should we, or more importantly, the Republicans believe he will not cave two months from now?
            •  Can't agree with this premise (0+ / 0-)
              There is no way around Congress, and the Republican controlled House. You have to get them to "yes," but you suggest does not such thing.
              There was no "cliff".  The world was not coming to an end today without a deal.  So the alternative ("renting somewhere else") was letting the tax cuts expire.  This would have only increased pressure on the Republicans.  Negotiating with folks like Boehner is about applying pressure, not compromising.  The longer this went on teh greater the pressure on Boehner.  But Obama couldn't seem to get that.
  •  I thank the front page for this (0+ / 0-)
    Today FDR’s words may be more true than they were 80 years ago, when the country did face truly catastrophic conditions. Our problems as the new year begins are not insuperable; they are manageable but greatly exacerbated by fear, much of it created and nurtured by people who make a good living off it. Whether it is the fear that one’s pension will be cut, guns restricted, income taxed too heavily or medical care infringed, it is often exaggerated and dishonest. There are difficult questions to be dealt with in every matter involving economic progress and the best distribution of public resources, but they can be answered by rational and well-informed discussion. Fear, unreasoning, unjustified fear, has no useful place in it, then or now.

    If at first you don't succeed, vote Teapublicans out and try again. You have to be persistent if you want anything out of life.

    by Final Frame on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:46:31 AM PST

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