I posted this as a comment in a diary praising the "fiscal cliff" compromise as evidence of Obama as a chess grand-master. I also read a diary which treated the deal as the worst defeat since Napoleon's Waterloo. I would have left it at that had I found a middle-ground diary that was more level-headed. But not seeing one, I'm posting my comment as a diary. I hope that doesn't offend, but here it is:
I read the news and was satisfied with the deal, but then I come to DKos and see another round of "we're great""we suck"; "we're smarter""we're stupid"; "This is chess, they're playing checkers." Ugh. Anyone who thinks this is victory has no idea what victory looks like. This is not "change the world" legislation - it isn't even "change the economy" legislation. But, at the same time, anyone who thinks this is capitulation completely fails to understand today's political dynamics. This took hard work on both sides. Keep in mind, Republican leadership had to sell this to theirs just as hard as Democratic leadership had to sell this to ours.
So how about we just accept it for what it is (assuming the House goes along); a small but significant undoing of the Bush tax cuts and an extension of the unemployment benefit. Plus, the automatic spending cuts - which would have significantly impacted Medicare - were averted. That's neither terrible nor great. It's neither something to crow about nor something to lament. And two months from now we get more drama which is great for cable news, but not so good for Americans.
There is a bright side, which is that Republican leadership actually negotiated, which may indicate they understand how significantly they lost this past election. It may portend a little bit more willingness to bend than we've seen the past four years. We can only hope.