President Obama a Sellout???

Kelly - posted on 12/07/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

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Obama Defends Deal, Fumes at "Sanctimonious" Left
Posted by Michael Crowley Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 3:48 pm


In his press conference this afternoon, President Obama didn't tell us much about his tax cut deal with Republicans that we didn't already know. But in an impassioned, even testy defense of political compromise, he did reveal his clear frustration with liberal criticism that he's a pushover and a sellout. And he ultimately positioned himself as the grownup and protector of the public in a room full of squabbling partisans.

On the tax deal's specifics, Obama affirmed what has become increasingly obvious as Washington chews over the details of the compromise: What Obama managed to get out of the arrangement was, in effect, a second stimulus. "This is not as significant a boost to the economy as the Recovery Act was," Obama explained, referring to the huge January 2009 spending bill. But, he added, "This will help economic growth and this will help job growth over the next several months." It will do that by extending unemployment insurance, various targeted tax breaks, cutting the payroll tax, and, to some degree (depending on which economists you listen to), by extending the Bush tax cuts for top-bracket income earners.

Obama said he is well aware that many liberal Democrats hate the deal and would prefer that he fight harder to block the tax cuts for high-earners. Obama said that wasn't possible given Republican numbers in the Senate, and given that "on the Republican side this is their Holy Grail, these tax cuts for the wealthy." Obama said that he could have mounted a symbolic fight over the tax cuts anyway. But he likened his dilemma to a hostage standoff, and "in this case the hostage was the American people... I want to make sure the American people aren't hurt because we're having a political fight."

Having positioned himself as the protector of the public from Washington political games, Obama lashed out at his liberal critics with striking pique. He recalled criticism that his health care reform plan amounted to a huge disappointment because it lacked the "public option" cherished by liberals. "If that's the standard by which we are measuring success or core principles, then let's face it," Obama said, with his voice rising and acquiring a sharp edge,

we will never get anything done. People will have the satisfaction of having a purist position, and no victories for the American people. And we will be able to feel good about ourselves and sanctimonious about how pure our intentions are, and how tough we are -- and in the meantime the American people are still saying to themselves, not able to get health insurance because of pre-existing conditions, or not being able to pay their bills because unemployment insurance ran out. That can't be the measure of how we think about our public service. That can't be the measure of what it means to be a Democrat. This is a big diverse country, not everybody agrees with us. I know that shocks people. The New York Times editorial page does not permeate across America. Neither does the Wall Street Journal editorial page.

Tough stuff--not just angry but arguably even condescending--and sure to further alienate the "professional left." That said, it's not news that the Obama and his aides feel this way. It is striking, however to see Obama say it with such obvious irritation.

But I doubt that Obama regrets showing a little stream. There have been multiple clues of late that the White House plans to make a political comeback for 2012 by winning back disaffected independent voters, not by rallying the Democratic base. Today's presser was further evidence that Obama's next two years are likely to be more Clinton and less Truman.


Read more: http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2010/12/...

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Emily - posted on 12/10/2010

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"Doesn't it piss you off? Can you picture a Republican moving center to appease the left? I just want to see Obama get up there, tell everyone to fuck off and that he has work to do. Then for him to actually do it. Screw bi-partisanship, it doesn't exist."

This is not how we do things in a representative republic. I think that's how communist dictatorships get things done. Obama knows that he has about a week or so left to get this done because he is about to lose his majority and we all know that if people get their checks in January and see their taxes go up they will blame the president and the president alone, as they should. He's had two years and one of the greatest supermajorities in recent history to get it done his way. He could have fixed it but didn't. Now he has waited too long and his back is against the wall. Shame on him, yay for us!

Dana - posted on 12/08/2010

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No, I don't think he's a sellout at all, this is how government is run, you have to have compromises. I'm still not convinced that tax cuts for those making over $250,000 a year is bad, $250,000 a year isn't shit anymore. I would have like to see them end it for those making 1 mil. up.

I also don't see him as moving towards the center to appease anyone, he's always been at the center. Those on the right would just like to portray him as being far left or a "progressive".

Sara - posted on 12/08/2010

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He's heading in the direction that Clinton did, to the middle. He's got to realize that he's not going to get anything done unless he makes deals like this. I don't view it as him being a sellout, I view it as him trying to help people on a topic that would have been a stalemate and negatively impacted the lives of a lot of people.

And I would hardly categorize the Dems plan as a "dream to rape the higher tax brackets". Not really an accurate assessment, I think.

Pamela - posted on 01/04/2011

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The hard fact about politics is: it is horse-trading, negotiation and compromise. That's what politics are and have always been. So in order to get anything done, Obama has to compromise.



Now that said, the Republicans have been the non-negotiators and completely uncompromising in their approach. They have clung to their free-market, trickle down economic ideology at the cost of our nation. The continual narrative that Obama has been completely partisan is total hog-snot. He has been quite willing to reach across the aisle. Which, by the way, is why we progressives are a tad bit irritated. We had eight years of right-wing bunk shoved down our throats (and honey, it wasn't even enjoyable) and many of us had hopes of giving back some. But that hasn't happened.



By the way, Republicans have utilized the filibuster in the past two years more than any other time. They have been the masters of the filibuster. Don't know where you get your info, but have any of you listened to McConnell? He's made it abundantly clear that he has no intention of compromising with Democrats or this sitting President. He has stated explicitly that he will block (and encourage all Republicans to follow his example) all legislation coming from the Oval Office or Democrats. Sorry, but if that isn't partisanship, I don't what is. Hence Republican use of the filibuster. It gives the sitting minority quite a bit of power.



So while the Dems have had a majority, fascinatingly, much has been slowed down and derailed by the filibustering Republicans. So shame on the Republicans for holding tight to an ideology that will benefit the likes of the Koch brothers but ultimately will bleed the middle-class out of existence. But then, the Koch bros and others of their ilk, don't really want a middle-class, now do they?



So what I don't understand is why some of you ladies support the very people who want to take apart the middle-class? Baffling it is.

Sara - posted on 12/08/2010

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And besides all that, the President's opinion about where this country should move isn't the last word. As much as I like Obama, he shouldn't be able to just say "fuck off" to everyone and do what he wants. That power lies with the legislative branch of the gov't. Do I think they need to stop being such d-bags? Absolutley! But Obama can't, and shouldn't, move to do things without Congress' consent and support.

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Dana - posted on 12/09/2010

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Haha, I LOVE that clip, it never gets old. I posted it in a thread I started the other day, I think I'll bust Katherine's balls forever for thinking it was real. ;)

Isobel - posted on 12/09/2010

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I agree that he did what he HAD to do...I really wish he had ended his speech this way though ;P

Sara - posted on 12/08/2010

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I know, but where do you draw the line? I can totally see where you're coming from, but I can't see Obama trying to make a political point at the expense of people's lives. He's smarter than that, and I happen to agree with him on this. Honestly, to me this makes Republicans look far worse than Obama.

Jenny - posted on 12/08/2010

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Doesn't it piss you off? Can you picture a Republican moving center to appease the left? I just want to see Obama get up there, tell everyone to fuck off and that he has work to do. Then for him to actually do it. Screw bi-partisanship, it doesn't exist.

Isobel - posted on 12/08/2010

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ummmmm...I believe the republicans are hostage takers AND that Obama needs to stop trying to compromise. The republicans have told him POINT BLANK that they will never work together unless the wealthiest get their benefits...so why bother?



and whether or not it was a tax hike or break is semantics...it was actually letting old tax CUTS expire...so, call it whatever you want...tax breaks for the rich do NOT help the economy. The notion is ludicrous.

Kelly - posted on 12/07/2010

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I agree Emily. So many people forget that this is not a break at all. It is simply a freeze on tax rates to stay the way they currently are. No one lost anything, no one gained anything as far as that goes. (Unless you count Pelosi who I am sure had already spent that extra 700 billion in her mind)

Interesting comment by Dan Rather...... I could see a challenge...... I just hope the Right puts up someone worth voting for in 2012. It sure would be a shame to drive all the Independent votes back to the Left.....

Emily - posted on 12/07/2010

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My only comment for now will be this:

I don't see this as a political win for the Republicans due to the fact I don't agree with the way this whole tax issue was teed up in the first place. We heard nothing but how Republicans want to "give rich people a large tax break." Well, that's not the truth. The truth was are we going to RAISE taxes on the 'evil rich' in the midst of a fragile economic 'recovery.' Nobody is getting their taxes lowered here, this will make their tax rates stay at the same rate they have been for the past some-odd years. We should not have let this been mischaracterized the way it was.

I also want to add that Dan Rather recently said this will most likely lead to a challenge in his own party for the democratic nomination in 2012. I sure do hope he is right! I don't believe a sitting president has ever won reelection after being challenged for the nomination.

ME - posted on 12/07/2010

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Rape? Really? The ideal conservative, mr. trickle down himself taxed those people at 50%. The current President wanted to raise it to 43% in the worst recession this country has faced in 60 years. The Republican plan to save the economy was to make millions of Americans homeless in the dead of winter while refusing to pay for billions in tax cuts for billionaires...I think conservatives have just publicly admitted that they are evil douche bags, and President Obama was left with little choice but to give into them...but, nice try...

Kelly - posted on 12/07/2010

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No big shock in his address today....... He claims Republicans are "hostage takers" holding the average American in order to secure tax cuts for the wealthy.

Do you all feel Obama is a Sellout for not standing firm on his (and other Dems) dream to rape the higher tax brackets?

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