The politics of the tax cut deal

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 07: U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference at the White House briefing room December 7, 2010 in Washington, DC. Obama held a news conference after he had announced a deal with Republicans to temporarily extend Bush-era tax cuts to Americans in all tax brackets. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Liberals are attacking President Obama on many fronts regarding the tax cut deal. They don’t like the deal itself, and many are also alleging that it’s stupid politics – he should have held out for a better deal.

Andrew Sullivan has a different take, explaining how a fight with his liberal critics actually helps him. Also, the deal itself will likely stimulate the economy, and a better economy helps his re-election prospects. I agree with Andrew.


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.


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