Will liberals kill the tax cut deal?

President Obama and the Republicans have struck a deal on taxes and unemployment benefits. The question now is whether liberals like Nancy Pelosi will really try to kill the deal.

Here’s the most important fact that angry liberals are ignoring – President Obama wanted to have this fight BEFORE the elections. The House could have passed a tax cut for those below $250,000, and then dared the Republicans in the Senate to filibuster it. This would have been the ideal issue for a dramatic filibuster showdown and would have drawn clear lines between the parties heading into the election.

But the Democrats chickened out. Pelosi listened to terrified Dems who are afraid of their own shadow when it comes to taxes, and they punted until after the election.

It was a huge mistake on every front. None of us know how it would have played out, but it’s hard to imagine a scenario in November worse than the beat-down they received.

Now these liberal Dems have the nerve to criticize Obama for cutting a deal, when it’s clear he has no choice but to strike a deal if he wants unemployment benefits extended and possible votes on START and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. The criticism is totally ridiculous.



Photo from fOTOGLIF

It’s been a long year since President Obama and the Democrats began the process to reform our health care system and provide relief to the million of Americans, mostly working families, who didn’t have access to affordable health insurance. Last night, victory was finally achieved.

The process was brutal. Passing legislation is rarely an easy process. It’s usually messy, and with an initiative this big and controversial, it was bound to be a difficult process. But it was made even worse by the strategic decision by the GOP to do everything possible to kill the bill. Obama tried to strike a bipartisan deal, and the GOP happily strung him along while they whipped up opposition from the angry right and the Tea Party crazies. The process became the story, hurting the popularity of Obama and the Democrats.

Despite all these challenges, the Democrats were poised to pass health care when Scott Brown won a stunning win in Massachusetts. Most assumed that Obama would fold and that his presidency was permanently wounded. Pundits on the right and the left had a field day questioning Obama’s effectiveness and his toughness.

Yet Obama doubled down, and he had a tough ally in Nancy Pelosi. The right loves to hate her, and now they have another reason, as she pushed this through the House when most assumed she’d never pull it off.

There were many ups and downs in the process, but I think that Obama’s visit to the Republican House retreat will be remembered as one of the turning points. The GOP was feeling cocky after Brown’s victory, and they were believing their own talking points. Obama eviscerated one Republican congressman after another on live national television. It was like a professor schooling a bunch of obnoxious high school kids.

I think the White House realized that it was time to fight and take on the GOP. Obama was back on his game, and the overconfident GOP wasn’t up to the fight.

This is a huge victory for Obama, the Democrats and the country. Health care is the signature issue of this presidency, and failure here was not an option.


One of the few honest conservatives

David Frum:

A federal bank takeover is a bad thing obviously. I wonder though if we conservatives understand clearly enough why it is a bad thing. It’s not because we are living through an enactment of the early chapters of Atlas Shrugged. It’s because the banks are collapsing. Obama, Pelosi, et al are big-spending, high-taxing liberals. They are not socialists. They are no more eager to own these banks than the first President Bush was to own the savings and loan industry – in both cases, federal ownership was a final recourse after a terrible failure. And it was on our watch, not Obama’s, that this failure began. Our refusal to take notice of this obvious fact may excite the Republican faithful. But it is doing tremendous damage to our ability to respond effectively to the crisis.

The rest are in denial.


Nancy Pelosi gives a pretty lame speech

Nancy Pelosi did a good job explaining some of the issues where John McCain opposed popular initiatives like the minimum wage and health care for children, but overall the speech wasn’t very impressive.

The best thing to come from the speech was an indication that the Democrats are serious about going after McCain and drawing distinctions on policy. They need to keep repeating this theme, and hope that others speakers deliver the message more forcefully.


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