I can see the “poignant” part of this:
But it’s anyone’s guess what kind of concessions House Dems can win, and more broadly, there’s something poignant about this whole scene. House Dems have erupted in anger and frustration repeatedly in recent months, taking tough votes on big items on Obama’s agenda that then died or got badly watered down in the Senate. House Dems wanted a bigger stimulus, and it didn’t happen. Senate procedural dithering was largely what soured the public on the process, harming Dems in the midterms. Yet House Dems are the ones who took it on the chin and are headed into the minority.
And here you have the same frustrations playing out again. House Dems were able to pass just an extension of the middle class tax cuts. But to no avail: Like a rerun of a bad movie, it failed in the Senate, and Obama decided his only recourse was to cut a deal to extend the high-end tax cuts.
Now their fury has boiled over one last time, to the point where they’re chanting “just say no” in unison. For many House Dems, seeing Obama make this deal was the ultimate sell-out. Their effort to block it, or at least change it, is their last stand in the majority, and they’re determined to make something of it. And yet the truth is that whatever does pass in the end is likely to be unacceptable to many of them, too.
But then I go back to: Shoulda got this done before the mid-term elections. That would have been a great last stand in the majority, if there even had to be a last stand. It could have been a winning issue and they should at least have taken the shot when it might have mattered. As President Obama wanted, I might add. He wouldn’t have had to cut the deal to save the fucking day.
Greg Sargent has this graph posted this morning:
He points to an analysis by ThinkProgress.
Link to filibuster in US Senate today, led by Sen. Sanders of Vermont. Bernie’s great. Nothing to argue with, even President Obama agrees with most, just about all, of these sentiments, but, again, it’s all awfully late in the game. Still, Bernie’s got himself an old-timey, barn-burning filibuster going on, God love him.
On the topic of this post, Steve Benen writes today:
But that’s still his position. The president gave a speech in September, as the midterm election season started to heat up in earnest, and he talked up his approach to tax policy. There was no difference from the line he took back in June 2007.
There was no reversal and no “preemptive concession.” If Congress had sent him the tax-cut compromise he designed, he’d have signed it in a heartbeat.
So why strike the deal? Because congressional Democrats balked at voting before the midterms; the party lost its leverage; the president got stuck in a box with limited options; and he negotiated the best deal he could against shameless adversaries while looking out for the middle class the unemployed. The result is an agreement that credible liberal economists believe will have a positive impact on the economy.