Look, I thought Obama caved too soon, too. The ‘war’ is still continuing, though, even though this particular battle was ceded too early. The ‘hostage-takers’ analogy is going to be more convincing, and longer-lasting, than people are giving Obama credit for – Cantor’s whiny reaction was immediate and telling. I’m disappointed, but it’s too early to characterize this as outright failure.
“Rank-and-file conservatives felt as strongly about Reagan in the 1980 campaign (and in 1976, for that matter) as liberals did about Obama in 2008. And they stayed true to him even when conservative elites concluded two years into his term that Reagan was a sellout.
“Indeed, in the wake of this week’s drama over the Bush tax cuts, it’s worth recalling a similar moment in Reagan’s presidency, when congressional Democrats forced him into a tax hike in the summer of 1982. Like Obama now, Reagan had no leverage: The economy was spiraling out of control, voters were abandoning him, and Democrats were having great success (or seeming to have great success) hammering him over the exploding deficit. Thus did Reagan agree to a tax hike package that increased revenues by nearly $100 billion over the next three years — the largest tax increase in history, right-wing activists and commentators screamed. To these conservative elites, it was simply the latest act of betrayal by their one-time hero. When the GOP was drubbed in that fall’s midterms, they claimed vindication (see — not conservative enough!) and talked openly of challenging Reagan in the 1984 primaries. But rank-and-file conservative voters didn’t listen. They still liked the Gipper, still thought he was one of them, and still backed him in polling. It’s the same story today for Obama with rank-and-file liberals.”
I would also encourage my fellow disappointed European-Style Social Democrat friends to make a quick list of 2012 Democratic presidential candidates who would be better than who we have now. Good luck with that.
Arkansas Republican Steve Womack would prefer the unemployed just drop dead.
“We’ve already gone to 99 weeks — that’s a better part of two years — and at some point in time, I fear that we’re going to create an entire culture of joblessness in our nation. … There has to be a point in time out there where we have to come to the realization that it’s no longer affordable,” he said.
“Still, Womack said he understands there needs to be some give-and-take: “I realize at some point in time there has to be a deal struck in order to avoid the prospect of a tax increase on rank-and-file Americans. I certainly don’t want to see that happen.”
It would be helpful for Republicans to actually understand the legislation before they condemn it; but what the hell else is new?