The Republicans think they have hurt their quarry on the tax-cut deal, making him look weak and at odds with his party. There’s an argument to be made for what the president did, but he doesn’t look good doing it.
When all the Democrats are complaining and all the Republicans are happy, it just can’t be a good deal for Democrats.
Obama gave up on a big principle, and Democrats showed — again — they can’t win the message war. Republicans proved that, while they don’t have the House (for now), the Senate or the White House, they’re still running things.
Obama used to play poker in the Illinois Legislature, but it’s hard to believe. First, he cried uncle to Republicans standing in the corner, holding their breath and turning blue. Then, in his White House press conference, he was defensive, a martyr for the middle class.
He said he must compromise at times as he follows “a North Star.” It was odd, given that Palin uses North Star as a code name, her own “city on the hill” reference, and an allusion to God.
The president said he couldn’t stick to his guns, even though most Americans agreed with him, because Republicans feel that this is their holy grail: “the single most important thing that they have to fight for as a party.” But isn’t helping those in need rather than gilding the rich a holy grail for Democrats? Does he think for a second that the Republicans will relent and be more reasonable in two years? If he believes he can go out in 2012 and attack the Republicans when the political stakes are much higher, why couldn’t he do it now?