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AdLib On December - 7 - 2010

Okay, let’s say you were out for a hike and a sudden gust blew you off the edge of the cliff, you’re holding on for dear life and can’t see below.

You see a strong vine close to you and reach for it to pull yourself back up…but a hand bends it back out of your reach. You look up and it is The Devil.

He smiles at your predicament, holding the vine well away from you and offers you a deal. He will let you have it to pull yourself back up to safety if you agree to stand by while he inflicts evil on another person.

You are left with one of two choices. Make the deal or refuse it and fall below, not knowing if it would be a short, harmless drop or a long deadly plummet.

Congratulations, you are now President Obama!

Aside from insulting The Devil by comparing him to the Republican leadership, I’d suggest that this is a pretty fair portrayal of where Pres. Obama finds himself right now with regards to extending the Bush Tax cuts.

Over two million unemployed people would be cut off with no money for rent, food, utilities…let alone Christmas. All those people would fall off the cliff if the extension is not passed. And to be certain that millions of people don’t suffer, Obama would also have to agree to let evil flourish, letting corporations and the wealthy become wealthier and more powerful while saddling the rest of the nation with hundreds of billions of more debt that could help sink our future deeper.

Though many of us in the Progressive movement legitimately want Obama to fight and resist instead of compromise, there are risks to both choices as represented in my allegory.

Let’s begin with this proposition, “Would the Republicans blink and concede to passing an extension of Unemployment benefits even if they did not get the tax cuts for the wealthy?”

They might…and they might not. Consider that throughout the campaign this year, they have been maligning the unemployed as lazy deadbeats. This was long term planning, they knew this vote and the vote on taxes was coming and thanks to the ineptness of the Dems, over many months they have framed things this way, “Don’t waste money on the lazy deadbeats, give it to the job creators and the economy will get better!”

Would the Republicans be able to use such already-rooted propaganda to successfully place all the blame on Obama and the Dems for unemployment not getting extended and tax rates going up if they don’t compromise? Possibly.

That is the bigger game and gamble. Could Republican and corporate control over this country be the biggest beneficiary of a standoff on this, by helping them gain the presidency and Congress in 2012? Imagine how much worse damage to this nation could be if that was the case.

Repeal of HCR, Wall Street regs, more tax cuts for the wealthy and “trickle down” economics, more war (McCain said recently that there should be regime change in North Korea), more torture, more violations of our rights an The Constitution…need I go on? This is what is really at stake.

And in the end, even if they agreed to a fight and standoff, might Obama and the Dems have to compromise anyway and approve tax cuts for the wealthy?

The Republicans lost the House and Clinton handily won re-election after they took the risk of shutting down the government and the public turned on them.

Of course, the flip side is self-explanatory. If Obama and the Dems took that risk and refused to compromise, if the Repubs feared being blamed for harming millions of regular Americans to deliver tax cuts to the corporations and wealthy who own them, they could give in and go along with the Dems.

However, in light of their attitude after winning in November, do the Repubs really look like they’d feel they need to compromise? Aren’t they completely deluded into thinking that the people love and support them (instead of the reality that people voted against the party in power)?

Personally, I believe this situation has occurred due to the Blue Dog and conservative Dems refusing to hold this vote before the elections. The results of them losing in far greater numbers than moderate or liberal Dems proves the foolishness of legislating based on one’s fears.

Had the Dems held this vote before the elections and gotten out a consistent message that Dems are for the people and Repubs for the wealthy, it could only have helped. Or, if the Repubs feared the impact of that and gave in, passing the Dems’ version, our nation would have benefited enormously.

Bipartisanship in today’s America does indeed mean making a deal with the devil. The alternative could be the entire nation going to hell.

The silver lining to this dark cloud is that millions of Americans won’t be cut off this Christmas or for a whole year and the middle class won’t see their tax rates go up. Hopefully the START treaty will then be passed and maybe even DADT. With this out of the way and millions of Americans not being cynically used by Repubs as a bargaining chip to get what they want, maybe we will see a more determined Obama in 2011. And avoiding the possibility of tax hikes an unemployment insurance being axed, Obama’s chances in 2012 may be much stronger.

No guarantees but I would suggest that if the economy does somewhat better due to all of this, the Repubs wear out their welcome with voters by abusing their power as they can’t help but do and the Dems and Obama do very well in 2012, there just may be another chance to get a lot more of the Progressive agenda through over the next several years.

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

54 Responses so far.

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  1. whatsthatsound says:

    For a counter-perspective, here’s something from Michael Fauntroy. I think he’s on to something.It takes two to tango, after all, even if the tango is dysfunctional


    It’s all worth reading, but here is how it starts out:

    A review of President Barack Obama and his White House’s interaction with congressional Democrats and Republicans reveals a troubling narrative: On too many issues, the President and his staff treat friends like enemies and enemies like friends. This is troubling because, I believe, the overwhelming majority of congressional Republicans are enemies of this President. They are dedicated to his failure in office and no amount of bipartisanship or compromise on his part will ever change that reality. It will only embolden Republicans to demand more capitulation. They will oppose him no matter what and he should govern himself accordingly. Dealing with them is a waste of time. Instead, he is quick to anger with those who are with him more frequently (congressional Democrats) than his political enemies (congressional Republicans).

    • boomer1949 says:


      Thanks for posting this and I’m in the process of reading. I have been working on “the letter”, but was beginning to doubt it would do any good. After reading the first paragraph of Fauntroy’s post, I have decided to follow through with it. Thanks! 🙂

    • kesmarn says:

      A comment I heard recently from an Obama admirer, WTS, was: “President Obama gave the Republicans exactly what they said they wanted. And after they got what they themselves had requested, they repaid him by calling him a weakling.”

      I don’t see how people like this can be dealt with in any reasonable way. Is Obama’s much longed-for bi-partisanship even possible? They simply do not respect our president.

      Now Jim DeMint is saying he’s going to filibuster the bill because the Republicans gave away “too much.” He wants unemployment payments to be converted to loans, he says. “There’s no point in paying people to stay home.” Outrageous.

      It’s very disheartening, to say the least.

      • boomer1949 says:

        I am working on “the letter” as a follow-up to my GOP Brick Wall post.

      • whatsthatsound says:

        They are nothing but shameless functionaries for the richest and greediest, and they laugh all the way to the bank at the suckers who vote for them. It’s right back to Bush saying, “This is an impressive group; the haves and the have mores. Some call you elitists, I call you my base.”

        They’re blatant, and still some people working two jobs to rub two dimes together vote for them.
        This is why any “deals” Obama makes with them will ALWAYS be likened to “capitulation” by progressives. The amazing thing is how stunned, and hurt, Obama always seems to act when he gets called on it. Maybe it’s true, what many write here, that he is being unfairly targeted by liberals for not giving them what they want. But the reverse is also true, I feel, and as the article I posted above points out. All the put-downs: “sanctimonious”, “professional left”, “retarded”, “purists”; etc. What presidents in the past have offended and disenfranchised so much of their base and party supporters like this president has, I wonder?
        You’d be hard pressed to label Fauntroy as “racist”, by the way. He’s an African American who has made a career out of examining U.S. race relations.

        • kesmarn says:

          Barney Frank, whom I admire, WTS, has said that there should be room for honest differences of opinion on this matter without “characterizations of that [difference] as political theater.”

          As I said earlier, I think Obama had good reason to do what he did in this circumstance — namely, hold his nose and go with the best deal he could negotiate at this point. (After all, as many have pointed out, it’s not likely to get easier after the first of the year.)

          But at some point — and I honestly don’t know when or in what circumstance this might occur — these bullies have got to be confronted head on. They are not going to be mollified, converted or reasoned with. And they have given us all ample evidence of this.

          When it happens, it will not be pretty. But I’m reaching the point at which I would rather absorb some of the “collateral” damage and make some (more) sacrifices myself than go on seeing the ultra-rich, Wall Street and the mega-corporations with such a large hand in dictating the future of the nation.

          I think it must be somewhat similar to what union organizers went through in the 1930s. Was the middle of a Depression the best time to take the risk of organizing and going out on strike? What about hungry children and homes without heat or lights? Those were excellent questions. But in the end, the decision was made to fight and fight hard. Because the people at the top had really forced the hand of the working class. It’s awful when it comes to that, but this is the kind of would-be tyrants we’re dealing with here. They don’t seem to understand anything less than head on resistance to their unholy agenda.

          • whatsthatsound says:

            Indeed, kes re your point about the unions. And one can go back even further in our history to find a group of dedicated individuals who, if they lost, would been delivered to the tender mercies of the British Crown and all the “discipline” King George had in store for traitors. But they didn’t say, “okay, just give us your best offer, we don’t want to get anybody’s hair messed up”.

            The fat cats have made it very clear they are willing to be the top dogs in a banana republic, screw everybody else. As you say, that HAS to be confronted by our elected representatives, or they aren’t really representing us.

            • whatsthatsound says:

              I stand corrected. To “the body of laws”, then. But the point, I feel is that there have been times in history when what was right for the whole of the citizenry, and not just those who profited most from injustice, prevailed. Not often, sadly.

            • Questinia says:

              Power was never meant to be with the people. It was meant to be with the body of laws that make up the Republic. If people had the power, injustice would prevail. The current problem is that the power IS with the people, albeit a select few who seem to have no problem flouting law.

              I guess it may be hard to have a nation of laws apply to a nation which tends to consist mainly of outlaws.

            • whatsthatsound says:

              I guess we can endure “as a nation” for a long time, the way N. Korea, The Phillipines under Marcos, etc. existed as kleptocracies. Or for that matter, the way the RCC ruled Europe for centuries, keeping all the wealth at the top. That’s the chilling thing, that history isn’t exactly on our side. But there IS hope, of course. Countries have changed direction in positive ways as well, to be sure. We can forget all this talk about American “exceptionalism” and just look to the WORLDWIDE best practices of leaders and countries who, in any way large or small, returned power to the people.

            • kesmarn says:

              Yes, WTS, and at some point, it may not be just our elected representatives who are taking the heat. It may be we ourselves. And these people have proven that they’re more than willing to “fight dirty.”

              I begin to understand more and more clearly, that when you “threaten” to take away even just a little of the money in the hands of the greediest of the greedy (however ill-gotten much of it was), you will be met with ferocious animosity and resistance.

              A situation I personally find baffling. But, nonetheless,I think true.

              But, on the other hand, how long can we endure as a nation with such incredible inequity in the distribution of wealth?

  2. kesmarn says:

    How people are able to keep a sense of humor when going through such hard times is beyond me. I admire the strength behind the humor in this 14 minute vid entitled:

    “The 5 Stages of Unemployment”

    • bito says:

      Black humor is often too real. I might add some sub-stages. Going to a County Mental Health clinic, and medical problems due to stress and being unable to pay to see a doctor, for the whole family. Sad, but the slackers deserve it, don’t they?

      • kesmarn says:

        This situation is full of irony and Catch-22s that provide an awful lot of fodder for dark humor, no b’ito?

        Like signs for job openings that say “We Absolutely Will Not Hire Anyone Who is Unemployed”.

        Or needing meds for stress and high blood pressure because of the health consequences of unemployment, but not being able to afford them because of unemployment!

        If we didn’t laugh, we’d cry!

  3. PatsyT says:

    OK the folks that say --
    ~Obama should just shame the republicans into paying for the UI and let all the tax cuts go.~

    First of all,
    the republicans FEEL NO SHAME!
    They could care less if the walk in the room
    with with Doggy Poo
    all over their shoe.
    They don’t care! There is no shaming them.
    They are not embarrassed!

    Obama has put the people most at risk, First.
    Yes it’s a shame he had to include those who feel
    no pain at all no matter what is happening in the economy.

    Can anyone else see how this gives him leverage?
    I hope people can start to look at the bigger picture.

    • bito says:

      Do people realize that on January ,4 , 2011, that the R’s will have control of the House Ways and Means committee, the only place where tax laws originate and are written! If this agreement is not passed, what kind of bill do you think will come out of the house then, do you think they will pass a bill to the Progressive’s liking? Continue fighting and no CR, START, DADT, Dream Act, UI, Child and college credits, payroll tax reduction… and say hello to a double dip recession.
      Go live outside with a cardboard box for a home , no money in your pocket and eating at a soup kitchen for a week. Then I want to hear you say “Keep Fighting Mr.Obama, I don’t need no sticking UI!”

  4. boomer1949 says:

    Thoughts on yesterday’s Press Conference…

    This president is easily the smartest guy in the room – especially when the room is filled with the shallowness that is the WH press corps – and he’s just about the only serious honest adult in town. So send him out there, for crying out loud. Schedule a press conference every two weeks and let him swing. The networks will continue to ignore his appearances somewhere in North Carolina, but they will ALL broadcast a press conference.
    Let him talk to the majority of Americans who actually wants to be treated as adults. Let him show what so many of us know :This man is there to serve the people, to help them, to make their lives a little better every day, regardless the personal political cost. Let them see his big heart and amazing grasp of every issue.


  5. Khirad says:

    Phew, I need to shower. So much hate in that thread.

  6. ClusterFoxWarrior says:

    President Obama made a HUGE point about how his own party did NOT want to hold this vote before the midterms. Why did the Dems end up becoming spineless cowards, and REFUSE to hold this vote on the tax cuts BEFORE the midterms?

    Because of that, they virtually GUARANTEED that these tax breaks that Bush started would be extended (albeit temporarily) and yet that’s President Obama’s fault?

    I’ve had it with the left continuing to want to play politics instead of getting things done. I agree with Obama, this is the public option BS all over again. Apparently there weren’t enough Dem votes to guarantee that the Bush tax cuts would be ended, and of course Republicans would NOT have them ended.

    Once again, President Obama ends up being the voice of reason, flying above the fray, and that’s called “caving.” WOW! Since when was appearing reasonable “caving”?

    I swear, the left has become equivalent to spoiled kids. They want ice cream, they get ice cream, yet they complain about how they got cookies n’ cream when they wanted Rocky Road.

    This legislation has things that neither side wants. The left wanted the Bush tax cuts on the high end ended, and the right didn’t want the unemployment benefits extended. That is what you get when you actually achieve bipartisanship.

    As an actual conservative (not a “CONservative” of the FoxSnooze ilk) I have to say ENOUGH with the “You’re either with us or against us” malarkey the left and right want to play. It’s because that BOTH sides continue to want to play childish political games that keeps the people’s business from getting done. True, Obama flip flopped on what he campaigned on, but it’s circumstantial. And I fail to see how Obama joining in this childish political game would have achieved anything. It’s easy to criticize in hindsight when you don’t have a country to run.

    I’m not happy about this deal either and I TOTALLY disagree with what President Obama has done, but I’m not hanging him with a noose because of it either. Plenty of blame to go around. I blame the spineless Democrats in Congress for not holding a vote before the midterms, and I blame the Republicans for wanting to keep those tax cuts on the high end.

    Precisely why I’m fed up with political clubs in Washington.

    • Haruko Haruhara says:

      I saw people on the left calling the potential vote on DADT repeal an attempt by Obama to cover up his sellout on the tax vote.

      He can’t win.

      • bito says:

        People, please keep in mind the commenters on Puff-Ho and other sites MAY be 1% of of the population. Half on the right, half on the left, and many of them ignorant of history or how government works.

    • kesmarn says:

      IMHO, you are mad at the right people, CFW.-- the Blue Dogs and the Repubs.

      • ClusterFoxWarrior says:

        Unlike others, I blame both sides fully, I don’t just blame one side and act like the other is innocent.

        President Obama is to blame for flip flopping what he campaigned on, which is a huge disappointment for me. He promised to end the tax cuts on the high end and he’s extending them, WTF?

        The Dems are to blame for NOT holding a vote on this issue before the midterms.

        And Republicans are to blame for wanting to keep the rich richer.

        While I’m disappointed in Obama flip flopping, I also admire him for remaining a voice of reason. A LOT of folks want an angry Obama, the “angry black man.” I don’t see what Obama getting angry with either side would accomplish. I’ve always admired Obama’s calmness and rationality. Many might consider it a weakness, I consider it a strength. I can’t believe people are already forgetting we HAD a President eight years ago who always acted the part of the tough guy, and caused this massive world of hurt that Obama has to put back together.

  7. HypnoToad says:

    Adlib et al.,
    Since I do seem to have the temerity to make a comment without reading any other comments, or even the article, this is where I have chosen to make my first comment on this fine site which you all have created.

    One of the things I took from Obama’s speech today was that he is willing not to fight someone who takes hostages and those hostages are in danger. So in essence he has just admitted that he is willing to negotiate with terrorists.

    I have supported our current POTUS through many trying times.I have come to realize over the last almost twenty-three months, that he has allowed an influence into his administration. This influence is the DLC and the Clinton machine.

    I have seen how this country has been decimated over the four decades.This is the only period for whichI have first hand knowledge of. I have seen over this time an abundance of willingness to sell out the ideals I thought the Democratic party has held since the 1960’s — ideals of equality, fighting for the voices that often go unheard or ignored, and striving for some semblance of justice.The party which I once held in high regard has now been usurped by individuals and groups whose sole purpose is to gain more wealth and influence.

    For those that have had time to pay attention to all of this mess, you have my sympathies. I have had the time lately because I started to refuse to be a part of what ruined the lives of so many hard working families, I was involved in making companies more productive. I was under the false understanding that it would allow the current workers to be more productive as well as giving them enough time to feel like they did not have their nose to the grindstone every minute whilst at work. Instead of this, it was used to eliminate the jobs of people who had spent their lifetime contributing to the quality and success of the company in which they felt they had a partnership. This was so shareholders, and the people who dealt in this exchange (nothing more than a group of money changers, if you were to ask me) could make more money no matter the cost to others.

    So now the POTUS I have had the most hope for, is now more than willing to negotiate with terrorists. Disregard the possibility of just extending tax cuts for the middle class through the same means which the GOP did it, reconciliation. Just go ahead and meet their irrational, destructive demands. Let’s see how this all works out.

    Please forgive my faux pax for not following the correct etiquette.

    May you all have a wonderful holiday with those people who love you and are loved by you,

    • kesmarn says:

      I hope you’ll stick around, Hypnotoad. You’re very welcome on the Planet. Thanks for taking the time to get your opinion out there.

      • HypnoToad says:

        Thank you for the warm welcome. You will please forgive me when I get a bit intense at times. And it should go without saying, please forgive my plethora of spelling, typing, and grammatical mis-steps. But as I was taught by wonderful parents, it is more of the intent than anything else.

    • AdLib says:

      Hey Hypnotoad! So nice to see you, welcome to The Planet! Rushing off now, will reply shortly but just wanted to say a quick hi!

      • HypnoToad says:

        I appreciate the hello. I am not sure of the format here (I do not yet have a conception of the difference between blogging, IMing, and emailin’ (hey I am from the south). Time has little meaning for me at this moment, so I certainly understand being in a rush.

    • bito says:

      Good heartfelt comment, HypnoToad. On the point of reconciliation may I refer you to this explanation from the Monkey Cage.

      Why Democrats Can’t Use Reconciliation for Tax Cuts like the GOP Did

      I had been thinking the same as you, but it seems like, nope, no can do.

      • HypnoToad says:

        Bito thanks for sending me off to some information I was not aware of. And thanks for sending me off into a whole new level of investigation in the Senate rules, I mean that both genuinely and sarcastically. It is another non-sensical system I am now required to understand.

        • bito says:

          Your welcome HT, I’m not sure if many know and understand the Senate rules. You probably now know more than some Senators, not sure if that is a compliment or not. 😉

  8. AdLib says:

    All of these Dems howling about Obama (Ed called him Neville Chamberlain) are such dishonest, petulant children.

    Have you heard a single one of these people explain what they would say to 2 million people, who would have lost their Unemployment benefits?

    In this game of chicken and with a more Repub Congress in January, such a standoff could last months. How long are they prepared to make millions suffer? And in the end, who’s to say they don’t make that same deal?

    Has a single one of them explained how much the Dem base would feel about such a standoff combined with not passing START, DADT, Dream Act, etc.? Losing out on all of that is a good deal to these Dems?

    And though it sucks that the wealthy will get the tax cut, it sucks that we’re spending billions on wars too. At least the tax cut is only temporary and COULD be ended.

    And if it damaged Obama and the Dems and Repubs won in 2012, how would that help these Dems with what they want?

    Where is the long term thinking in these people? Nowhere.

    • bito says:

      Two questions: Where were all these pundits when the 2001 & 2003 taxcuts were passed under rescission? After all the pontificating, hair pulling and name calling of the President, how many Republican votes switched?

  9. choicelady says:

    I was over on the Dark Side reading message after message about how this is IT, it’s over for Obama. He caved. He’s just a Republican. He’s betrayed us.

    And I ask -- what could he do when the Blue Dogs wouldn’t pass the cloture and Voinovich, cowardly bleep that he is, did not vote at ALL but says extending the tax cuts for the rich is WRONG. Talk is cheap. Ladrieu is cheap.

    I’m not “exhausted of defending” Obama -- I’m exhausted at trying to get LIBERALS and PROGRESSIVES to remember how our government works. If it were not my job to push activists to act, I would be with Marion -- and we’d be giving each other pedicures, eating bon bons, and reading trashy novels with wine in one hand and the book in the other. Neither of us is really giving up, but wow -- is it tempting! Much as I hate the GOP, I’m coming to hate my allies more for they are speaking completely without foundation. It’s disgusting.

    • escribacat says:

      Perfectly stated, choicelady. The vicious attacks from the left are way more disturbing than the usual venom from the right. Their expectations must have been way off in the next galaxy.

    • VegasBabe says:

      I agree with you but I STILL would like to see evidence of some clear demonstrative effort that Obama is actually FIGHTING with the GOP, and I’d like to see WHICH dems are on the GOP’s side. Sometimes I think dude may be a bit tooooo “refined” for his own good. And until he begins to show that side, he’s gonna continue to lose supporters. You can sometimes not mind that you lost the fight as long as one knows a fight was indeed conducted and you fought like hell at least. Meanwhile, this is just shameful and I don’t understand white folks who PREFER to see these 2%’ers continue tax breaks while folks they likely know if not themselves are out here robbing Peter to pay Paul.

      • choicelady says:

        I understand, but I never thought Obama was aggressive -- it is that which attracted me to his candidacy in the first place. His calm, cool voice of reason, his refusal to fight the schoolyard bully on the bully’s terms, his understanding of how governance works. All of that was clear and obvious. It was his strength in the debates -- and now we want him more pugnacious and angry, though I sure thought that’s what came through in his press conference. The anger.

        Has he made a mistake thinking civility counts? Obviously yes. Does it count? Obviously it does -- but not so’s you’d notice in DC. Thuggery prevails. I do wish he’d put more of the engagement in public -- what he asked, what they demanded, how they betrayed us. He needs to call out the Blue Dogs and their cowardice -- he’s quite right that you don’t need to be mean about it. He is NOT LBJ. But he might make clear that being a Dem means standing for PEOPLE not the powermongers. He does not have to name names, but he does have to name principles. It was NOT the GOP who brought this vote down -- it was his own party. OK -- And Voinovich, the sniveling coward. Did not even vote though he then said he opposed the cuts continuing for the rich.

        I think Obama has done some amazing things but I don’t know if he will survive any better than Carter. On the other hand -- Clinton was in exactly this place after his first two years, too. Of course he DID cave, over and over, but he WAS re-relected. What saved Clinto was OK City. He rose to the occasion, was masterful in his compassion and presence. Had that not happened, I’m not sure he would have been re-elected. Obama’s made none of Clinton’s false starts and has passed legislation Clinton did not -- yet the progressives still prefer Clinton for -- I don’t know why.

        I know I hate politics in America. I hate blaming a decent man for using the system as written instead of abusing it. Strength under these circumstances MUST be made manifest through the regulator powers of the Executive, and that could be a game changer. But the professional whiners have to get over themselves and figure out what they want, and they have to lean on Blue Dogs when and wherever they can, and they have to re-learn how democracy works and then figure out if they actually believe in it. I don’t think they do. They’re looking for an imperial president on THEIR team.

        I just know that before Jan 3 when the CA legislature comes back and whatever date Congress returns, I really, REALLY need a nap.

    • bito says:

      C’Lady, I have been watching MSNBC all afternoon. Wanna guess how many unemployed or middle class people they have interviewed? All a bunch of comfortably situated white employed telling the president to fight on. They will fight for the principals till the last warm meal of the unemployed. How many of these pundits make over 250k? When was the last time they worried about the heating bill, their kids warm coat or next meal?

      Talk, ponder and pontificate all you want, guys, turn 10 R’s vote from NO to YES! There is the line in the sand!

      I’m exhausted at trying to get LIBERALS and PROGRESSIVES to remember how our government works.

      • PatsyT says:

        Man O Man Bito That is it!
        If they just had gone out into the field
        and interviewed the unemployed guy and his family living in a car.

  10. kesmarn says:

    The comparison has been made often over the last couple days, AdLib, of this process as being similar to negotiating with terrorists. And I get that.

    But the comparison that seems even more accurate to me is that it seems like negotiating with a very abusive spouse. The enemy/partner is right in our own house — ostensibly one of “us.” And he’s holding the kids hostage.

    I have to reluctantly agree that President Obama made the right decision, given the fact that the Repubs had the gun to junior’s head.

    But at some point — not now, not in this circumstance, not right at Christmas, when people are in desperate need — at some point, though, somebody is going to have to stand up to the abusive bully. Otherwise there will be no end to this. Victory only emboldens these people to push it even further. Bullies always push until someone says “stop!”

    The thing that’s compounding the problem, though, is that the kids — at the same time that Bad Dad is emptying their piggy banks to go out and get drunk — are whining: “But, Maaaaa! Dad lets us stay up all night and play video games and smoke his marijuana and watch FOX babes! And you’re mean! You’re always telling us that we need to work hard, study, brush our teeth and keep our rooms clean. You don’t ever let us have any freeeeedom! And, Ma, this country is all about FREEDOM!”

    The one thing Mom Obama does know is that she and the kids are on the receiving end of some pretty horrible treatment.

    Mom needs to start formulating a plan to bring Bad Dad to justice. Even if it involves letting some internet leaker blow the secrecy lid off Dad’s shady banking practices and bringing him to justice that way.

    For today, December 7, 2010, though, Mom did the only thing she could realistically do to keep the kids safe. Whether they appreciate it or not… 🙁

    • whatsthatsound says:

      that is so absolutely right, Kesmarn! This, to me, is not about the president, or understanding the lousy “deal” he had to make, etc. It is about recognizing that the U.S. government has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Greed, Inc. , and as a result, its people are getting shafted and it is becoming a hollowed out shell of what it once was.

      When a president is stuck between a rock and a hard place, we can spend our time complaining about, or feeling sorry for, or excusing the decisions of, the president. Or we can say, “Look! Our government is now a ROCK AND A HARD PLACE! Wuthufu happened here? We have to do something about this!”

      • kesmarn says:

        “Look! Our government is now a ROCK AND A HARD PLACE! Wuthufu happened here? We have to do something about this!”

        There you have it, WTS. We do have to do something about this. I don’t think it’s going to get better on its own.

        Side note: after I had written this comment, I realized that it might be considered somewhat sexist to imply that the male character would be the abuser. Feel free, folks, to swap the gender identities. I think the analogy still works either way. Dad Obama could just as well be fighting to protect the kids from Missy McConnell and Johanna Boehner! Sorry I didn’t have time to add that as an edit before I was called in to work.

  11. javaz says:

    Watched President Obama’s news conference and thought he sounded angry and defensive.

    I don’t understand much about politics but it does seem that politics has changed a great deal since I began voting and paying attention in the ’70s.
    Politicians no longer work together for their constituents and the good of the country, but work continually for the next election.

    I do understand President Obama’s frustration and anger.
    The anger radiating from the left/liberals/progressives is disheartening, especially noticeable since yesterday and the “deal with the devil”.

    I really cannot see that Obama had any other choice right now in not making the concession on the tax cuts for the rich to save UI for millions of Americans and to continue the tax cuts for the middle class and the extension of the child benefit.

    I am nervous about the 2% payroll tax holiday, even though it supposedly will not effect Social Security but rather transfer funds from the General Fund.

    President Obama has promised not to privatize Social Security, but with Dick Durbin, of all people, saying that he was open to the Cat Food Commission’s Social Security and Medicare recommendations -- is disturbing.

    President Obama does not receive credit for passing Health Care Reform, as he so passionately stated in the news conference, and it is understandable that Republicans would criticize the policy, but perplexing that liberals/progressives join the criticism, even though the reasons are different.

    President Obama does not get credit for saving millions of American jobs in the automotive industry, but the very same corporations funneled money into the last mid-term election to elect the Republicans that were and still are against the GM and Chrysler bailout because it’s ‘socialism’.

    I don’t understand much about politics, but since President Obama has taken office, I am starting to understand how very difficult it is for Obama as president and it’s not just the Republicans that are making his job difficult.

  12. bito says:

    I am not sure if there is a better explanation than the President’s own words.

    Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

    He is not happy about the deal either. Can you imagine his frustration with the snakes in the Party of NO? The spin not just from the right, but from the warm and comfy purists has been non stop, even before he took office. He said he has the people behind him, but the R’s aren’t listening. Should he ignore the policy for politics? Ignore the people that are losing their unemployment insurance? Oh, how easy it is to sit in some nice office or home and slam the compromise and say that he should have gambled and played politics and MAYBE have won while watching the economy deteriorate further.

    He was elected to govern, make the hard choices, not write a blog or tweet and decide policy in 140 characters. He has millions of reasons to make the compromise. And they are all struggling, missing meals, not paying bills. If anyone thinks that decision was easy, I want to hear how?

    • boomer1949 says:

      The tone of his voice is angry — which is what I’ve not heard in a long time. This is what he has needed to do for some time — kick ass.

      **EDIT** He’s pissed — woo,hoo!!

    • bito says:

      Looks like the R’s know where the wealth needs to be spread. To the wealthy, where else?


      Here’s a novel thought, how about that each of those 4.8 million give 2 people a job? Aren’t they the “job creators?”

      • kesmarn says:

        If you give money to the riff-raff, they just squander it on frivolities like food and heat and housing, b’ito. They’re so gauche that way.


  13. FlyingLotus says:

    Even though, I am greatly disappointed by this deal.President Obama was literally between a hard place(the democrats, millions of unemployed Americans not able to pay their bills)and a rock(the Party of Hell to the NO!).

    A friend of mine, has a theory the president has been given a Cosa Nostra type of message from the vested special interests in this country.He chose to see his girls grow up.Hmmm.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly, the dems should have acted on this sooner.They really are piss poor about messaging.All of a sudden, Miss Blue Dog Landrieu, is full of populist rage about this deal.Yeah, right!

    My belief is the president is only as good as his congress, he can’t single handedly go this alone.

    In the end, it was a Sophie’s Choice.

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