President Obama, You won. Act like it.

Filed in National by on December 18, 2012

I get why the President spent his first term trying to negotiate with the GOP terrorists. I don’t get why he is doing it now. This post is a direct pickup from dkos.

If President Barack Obama has a flaw, it’s his obviously overwhelming desire to appear reasonable and conciliatory and “work together” to find “compromise” and “get things done”. Bipartisanly. With a sane, reasonable, conciliatory opposition, that approach would make sense. But after four years of getting slammed by Republicans eager to destroy his presidency, Obama still hasn’t learned the lesson. He still thinks he’s going to get rewarded for being the “adult in the room”. Yeah, everything I’ve put inside scare quotes is a joke. A bad, painful joke.

So there’s nothing better than headlines like this one, in the Washington Post, to deliver the lesson to the White House to, well, just quit being the Capitulator In Chief:

A rough 24 hours for the White House

You see, Obama had drawn a line in the sand, and then — to no one’s surprise — ended up capitulating on everything he said he’d never capitulate on.

A few weeks ago, the Obama administration was firm that they wouldn’t budge on tax rates for income above $250,000 and that they wouldn’t budge on the debt ceiling. They’ve since budged on both.

And while Republicans are stupid, even they aren’t that stupid.

Republicans increasingly think the White House will concede more now, and that if they don’t concede more now they’ll definitely give Republicans a better deal if threatened with debt default.

Capitulation is never a strength. A deal will obviously require concessions by the president, but you make those to FINISH the deal, not in the middle of negotiations, and not until after you’ve branded the opposition with the concessions they’re demanding. If a final deal required concessions on chained CPI, then make sure it’s the Republicans making those demands, and then make sure everyone knows it’s the Republicans making those demands. Don’t be the one making that offer, for chrissakes!

[White House allies] are disappointed to see an old dynamic reasserting itself: The president makes concessions, thinking he’s close to a deal, and then the Republicans pocket those concessions, offering nothing but renewed threats to blow up the talks in return.

Yup, this is insanity. Not only is it brain dead stupid with regards to Republicans, but also betrays his own vice president and congressional caucus — which had promised several times that Social Security (among other things) was off the table.

Worse, the pushback from congressional Democrats over chained CPI is stronger than the administration expected — note the outspoken opposition from Sen. Dick Durbin, an Obama ally who’s often considered a barometer for pragmatic liberals.

About the Author ()

Jason330 is a deep cover double agent working for the GOP. Don't tell anybody.

Comments (17)

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  1. kavips says:

    He’s smarter than you. (and me). There were times over this campaign where, especially in the debates, an “ah ha” moment transpired where it became clear why he tacked too conservative for our tastes sometimes 2,3,4 years ago… Hence the 53-47 win…. I and you, probably would have fallen into the trap.

  2. jason330 says:

    But why now? He isn’t running again. Even if he was, his popularity increases when he stands up to the GOP terrorists.

  3. puck says:

    Obama and Republicans have some ambiguous co-dependent relationship like Batman and the Joker.

  4. kavips says:

    Again, he is smarter than you (and me). My guess, he understands that if a Democrat doesn’t win in 2016, everything he’s done is temporary. Look what happened to the surplus of Clinton’s eight years? It sure didn’t last as far as the eye can see….

    He also understands to do so hinges on five words: Virginia, Ohio, Nevada, Colorado, Florida.

    My guess, the deal was agreed to in secret the first meeting. After all they agreed once before in August 2011. The question became how to implement. The real problem for each side was how to corral each sides more extreme faction to come aboard to ratify the deal that the centers of both sides are comfortable with. If this guess is correct, then both sides Boehner and Obama are playing out the game in excellent fashion. (Old timers saw the same game with Reagan and Tip.)

  5. Jason330 says:


  6. socialistic ben says:

    Ive already taken shit here for being ok with raising the SS age….. but if all the offers to be reported on the table, are in fact on the table, (mostly the take increase being surrendered all the way back to 400k) the GOP has won these negotiations once again be being bratty little children. For a few short weeks Obama had a spine. oh well.

  7. Jason330 says:

    Agreed. The GOP has no incentive to do anything other than pocket every inevitable concession that comes along and laugh all the way to another big mid-term win in November 2014.

  8. socialistic ben says:

    we’ve seen this exact same movie before. Obama’s chess game got him a re-election…. but I dont give a crap about his presidency if it means a more conservative America when he’s gone.

  9. puck says:

    “Old timers saw the same game with Reagan and Tip”

    In which the little guy picked up the tab for Reagan’s tax cuts on the rich. That is the deal where for the first time, unemployment benefits and Social Security benefits became subject to tax – a tax that is still with us. Does chained CPI have to follow that path too?

    Do today’s little guys who are still paying for Reagan’s upper income tax cuts now have to pay for Bush’s upper income cuts too?

  10. Jason330 says:

    I’m sure everyone will be shocked when Republicans run attack ads in 22 months saying that the Democrats raised taxes and cut social security. Absolutely SHOCKED!!!

  11. puck says:

    Why can’t chained CPI be linked with a raising of the income cap on Social Security taxes? Obama needs to learn the art of the poison pill.

  12. puck says:

    “Boehner is planning a House vote on his proposal on Thursday, hoping it would raise pressure on President Barack Obama to make concessions as both sides continue reaching for a bipartisan deal on averting the “fiscal cliff.” “

    Are you SURE you want to do that, Speaker Boehner? It’ll be the first Republican vote for tax increases, voting for a Republican bill. This might be fun to watch.

  13. mediawatch says:

    Why can’t chained CPI be linked with a raising of the income cap on Social Security taxes? Obama needs to learn the art of the poison pill.

    Try this: pay FICA on earned income up to the bottom of the top tax bracket — whether it be $200K, $250K or $400K. No idea how much it would raise, and I realize it wouldn’t clobber the super rich, but the impact would fall exclusively on people with six-figure salaries that our delusional elected officials in Washington consider part of the “middle class.”

  14. Tom Hawk says:

    Being a successful Community Organizer in Chicago doesn’t necessarily embody, nor require the skills needed for a National Leader.

  15. Roland D. Lebay says:

    @Tom Hawk
    Being a successful Community Organizer in Chicago doesn’t necessarily embody, nor require the skills needed for a National Leader.

    Repeating RWNJ talking points does not make for witty or interesting comments.

  16. JConnor says:

    From a guy who is neither:)

  17. Tom Hawk says:

    To LeBay: I consider myself progressive. The point I try to make is that success of actions in one endeavor does not necessarily lead to success of the same actions in different endeavors.