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Old 12-09-2010, 04:41 PM   #451
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Good question. Maybe to see how much of a backbone they had, see what it would finally take for them to fight back or something?

That news actually quite pleasantly surprises me. I'm not holding my breath for miracles here, but hey, it's an interesting turn of events nonetheless. Be curious to see what happens next.

Angela
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Old 12-09-2010, 04:59 PM   #452
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I don't think Obama should have caved without a fight. These tax cuts for the rich are a huge deal and have huge implications for the economy and for the federal budget. I understand that he wanted make sure the middle class's tax cuts didn't go up and that he wanted to extend unemployment benefits, but sometimes there are things that are important enough long-term that maybe you take the hit short-term. I'm honestly curious, if you polled everyone in the country who voted for Obama in 2008, with the question below, what the outcome would be:

"Would you be willing to have your own personal taxes go up short-term if it means that the economy will be strengthened and the federal budget fixed long-term?"

The President says he'll fight for it in two years, but how many of us honestly believe there's going to be any fight for tax increases during a Presidential election? I think there are plenty of people who are skeptical about that.

No, I think the President should have fought. There's a scene that closes an episode of the West Wing in which President Bartlett and the congressional Republican leadership(it was a Republican Congress) were negotiating a budget deal, and if no agreement was reached, the government would shut down that very night at midnight. The Speaker Of The House had been pushing and pushing for more and more spending cuts, and the President was almost going to say yes anyway to avoid the government being shut down. But at the last second, the Speaker increased the spending cuts in the deal even more, and it was the straw that broke the camel's back for the President. He just said "No." The Speaker warned him that he wasn't bluffing and that "You will be held responsible for shutting down the federal government."

In response to this, the President stood up, looked the Speaker dead in the eye, and said, "Then shut it down." And then he walked out of the room.

When they're in that meeting, and the GOP says that if the tax cuts for the rich expire, all of the tax cuts expire, perhaps the President should've stood up, looked Boehner and McConnell and whoever else dead in the eye, and said, "Then let them expire."

If the story is spun correctly, and the GOP is made to look like they're holding the middle class hostage(which is what the spin is now anyway), like it's their fault everyone's taxes are going up because of their unwillingness to budge on the tax cuts for the rich, how long do you think the GOP lets that go on?

What's the worst-case scenario? That they agree on the same "compromise" deal they've agreed on now? At least the President would have tried in that scenario, and the possibility would be open for something much better.

I hope the House holds steady and is for real on this.
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:59 PM   #453
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I don't think Obama should have caved without a fight. These tax cuts for the rich are a huge deal and have huge implications for the economy and for the federal budget.
Implications on the federal budget? Yes

On the economy? Probably not.

Your analogy doesn't work(besides being fictional) because Bartlett had the political clout to do so at that time, Obama doesn't. If this was a year and a half ago, sure, he could do it without hesitation. But he doesn't have that anymore...

This was Obama's best move at this point.

One thing that has become glaringly obvious this week to me... people don't seem to like a pragmatist as a president.
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Old 12-09-2010, 08:51 PM   #454
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Implications on the federal budget? Yes

On the economy? Probably not.

Your analogy doesn't work(besides being fictional) because Bartlett had the political clout to do so at that time, Obama doesn't. If this was a year and a half ago, sure, he could do it without hesitation. But he doesn't have that anymore...

This was Obama's best move at this point.

One thing that has become glaringly obvious this week to me... people don't seem to like a pragmatist as a president.
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:18 PM   #455
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This was Obama's best move at this point.
I disagree.

If anyone here genuinely believes that the Republicans would have filibustered extending EI or middle class tax cuts, I'd like to hear it. Hell, Boehner already said that he would have voted for the tax cuts even if the Bush tax cuts were not extended; meaning he would have voted for a purely under $250K tax cut.

Pragmatism isn't to be celebrated as a matter of fact and people who disagree with the structure of this Bill should not be labeled anti-pragmatic either. Simplistic thinking.
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:49 PM   #456
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Hell, Boehner already said that he would have voted for the tax cuts even if the Bush tax cuts were not extended; meaning he would have voted for a purely under $250K tax cut.
That's not what I heard. Boehner and a few others were claiming they were going to hold to their tea bag "principles" and it was "all or nothing".
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:52 PM   #457
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House’s Boehner Says He Would Vote for Middle-Class Tax Cuts - BusinessWeek
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:56 PM   #458
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Well something must have happened between Sept 13th and now...
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:02 PM   #459
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Well something must have happened between Sept 13th and now...
Cute.

Incumbent Congressmen stay until end of December.

Do you believe that the GOP would have filibustered middle tax cuts and extension of EI?
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:17 PM   #460
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So do you think it was as simple as Obama could have, but caved in?
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:24 PM   #461
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So do you think it was as simple as Obama could have, but caved in?
No, but I think he could have gotten a significantly better deal than he did. What did Republicans give up? Nothing of any value whatsoever.

He constantly brings up bipartisanship, like he is suffering from some form of delusions. Nobody out there believes that bipartisanship exists. Except for him. To his own detriment.

Let me ask you a question - do you think that criticisms of this proposed bill are as simple as "people hate pragmatism"?
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:31 PM   #462
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No, but I think he could have gotten a significantly better deal than he did. What did Republicans give up? Nothing of any value whatsoever.

He constantly brings up bipartisanship, like he is suffering from some form of delusions. Nobody out there believes that bipartisanship exists. Except for him. To his own detriment.

Let me ask you a question - do you think that criticisms of this proposed bill are as simple as "people hate pragmatism"?
No, I admit the Republicans definitely came out on top with this one, their only concessions being the "death tax" and supposedly some "hidden stimulus".

I never said that the criticisms = people hate pragmatism. But it does seem that it's a quality that people don't like in a president.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:41 PM   #463
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i'm with BVS on this one.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:51 PM   #464
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The Republicans will simply re-brand the Bush tax cuts as the Obama tax cuts in 2012 and run on a platform of deficit/debt reduction, and attribute an additional $300 billion of the deficit to him. Because they are better politicians, period. He may be a better candidate, but they are better politicians, every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

This is to say nothing of the fact that it is largely Obama's fault that his base is completely deflated. There is no denying it, especially in light of the voting group statistics of the past election and the approval ratings. It would be nice to blame John Boehner for that, but doing so is dishonest and ignorant of the reality on the ground.

As much as I'm unhappy with many things Obama has done (he squandered a lot of voter goodwill after he was elected, with a mediocre stimulus bill and everything that followed - fact is he had unprecedented public support for financial overhaul and didn't come through as he could have), it is clear that the Republicans/TeaPartiers are insane and have totally lost the plot and letting them govern would be disastrous. To that end, Obama is the better choice. But I am a person who votes in every election. The people who were inspired to come out and vote for him in 2008 and usually don't bother would by and large stay home if the election was held today. And if he is cynical enough to believe that he can simply rely on his candidate Obama charm in 2012 and they'll all come flocking back even though they perceive him as weak and uninspiring and they're all unemployed...well he is free to do so, but he does it at his own peril. And we are all worse for it.
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:01 AM   #465
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thing is, Obama's approval ratings are very high among the broad coalition of the Left, with 80% of Democrats approving of his job. certainly there's disappointment, but i think the base is far, far angrier with the nihilism of the GOP. to call it "deflated" is a step too far. you had several major pundits, after some teeth gnashing, come to generally accept his tax deal as the best option possible.

2012 will be about the perception as to whether or not the economy is getting better. the unemployment rate doesn't even have to be that low -- it's the perception of Right Track vs. Wrong Track.
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