Skip to main content

In the aftermath of the Senate vote on the stop gap fiscal deal, many worried democrats are wringing their hands worried that too much was given up.  Progressive economists and pundits, like Paul Krugman and Robert Reich (writing for Huffington Post)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

are chiming in with their view that Obama keeps drawing new lines as fall back positions. What resulted last night was a good news/bad news bill. The good news: no spending cuts. The bad news: retreat on revenue demands from wealthy Americans including a new definition of America's middle class that includes those making $400,000 a year. So the typical law firm partner driving a brand new Lexus is now in the same working niche that I inhabit.  (I'm an elementary school teacher living in a working class neighborhood with my family in New Jersey).

But, as Paul Krugman writes, it's not the plan itself as much as how the White House got to it. The negotiating positions--hard line positions that were an integral part of the Obama election campaign--changed seemingly overnight.  Just one week ago, Obama supporters were emboldened by the President's steadfastness.  Today, we are justifiably worried about what happens in late February/early March.  

The White House says that there will be no negotiation on the debt limit.  They're willing to let default take place rather than fight with Republicans on cutting essential programs.  America can't afford another fight because it will be the fight that derails the most promising second term in modern history.  And yet, there is more proof that negotiation will take place and that republicans could set a precedent for every future fight thereafter. Granted, democrats will have to agree to balanced spending adjustments, and republicans run the risk of making themselves even more unpopular if they demand cuts to programs that are both essential and widely supported.

But the White House can't let themselves get pulled into a drawn out battle.  Sticking to a non-negotiatiable position on taxes would have caused the fiscal drop to happen.  But the vast majority of economists didn't see that as disaster.  On the other side of January 1, the greater leverage would have been in Obama's hands.  And a short term fix would not have been as necessary as a long term fix.  The pressure could have--I think would have--built from the business community, especially Wall Street and big multi-nationals.  

But all of that is now water under the bridge.  Obama must stake out a new hard-line position and he must stick to it.  Whoever is advising him otherwise is unwittingly working to dissolve whatever political leverage Obama has to tackle other, bigger problems and issues like gun control and immigration reform.

Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 9:25 AM PT: Update.  Saturday, 1/5/13:  Based on comments from a number of republicans--including conservatives--the message appears to be sinking in.  The republicans risk everything, and the blame will deservedly be completely on them, if they choose to hold the debt limit hostage in order to get deep cuts to entitlements.  On both counts, they'll lose the message war because they'll be threatening the U.S. and world economy at the same time they're proposing deep cuts in very popular programs.  The republican response to Obama's very direct and unmistakably clear Saturday radio address shows a measured response rather than the overwhelmingly histrionic republican responses earlier in the week.  Obama must continue to convey this message during the coming weeks; prominent democrats must remain cool, level-headed by not taking bait from right wing commentators and politicians; and the stage needs to be set by both sides with proposals that can be modified.  Both sides now agree that BOTH spending and tax reform MUST be on the table.   All of this bodes well for a reasonable approach rather than an extremist approach to solving these problems.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  But how does Obama erase Eric Cantor's memory? (0+ / 0-)

    There's no way that that ideological brat will stake any position that is even in the remote neighborhood of Obama's last set of capitulations.   He will certainly not allow the President to backtrack to a more middle-class/lower-class-friendly position.  

    Boener can't deliver anything without Cantor, unless he thinks he can sell something to enough RINOs that he will also be able to sell to absolutely every Dem in the House.  I don't see Boener as being a strong enough man to give up his Speaker's position for the good of the country.

    It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

    by Murphoney on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 03:29:19 PM PST

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site