Thursday, December 09, 2010


Everybody draw weapons and form a circle:

Defying President Obama, House Democrats voted Thursday not to bring up the tax package that he negotiated with Republicans in its current form.

"This message today is very simple: That in the form that it was negotiated, it is not acceptable to the House Democratic caucus. It's as simple as that," said Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen.

"We will continue to try and work with the White House and our Republican colleagues to try and make sure we do something right for the economy and right for jobs, and a balanced package as we go forward," he said.

The vote comes a day after Vice President Biden made clear to House Democrats behind closed doors that the deal would unravel if any changes were made.

"Wow did the [White House] mishandle this," a senior House Democratic Source told CNN. "Breathtaking. Members have major substantive concerns and they should have gently guided people to the finish line." ...

I'm not the president. I don't think like the president. It's not his style, but right now I think he should go on national TV with a sheaf of papers (real or symbolic) representing the deal he made with the Republicans and say, to everyone who's pissed off:
"Look, I did what I thought was best for the country, and obviously a lot of you didn't like it. Well, fine. [He tears up the papers.] The deal is off. You can hammer out a better deal? Great -- I will back the best deal you can get. I did what I could. Now, show me what you can do."
The hell with it. The hell with dignity and keeping intraparty disputes out of the limelight -- Sarah Palin and the teabaggers don't bother with any of that, and they've been the flavors of the month for nearly two years now.

I guess I'm saying this because it's what I want. All of you who think backing this deal, or even just begrudgingly accepting it, is the worst possible act of betrayal? I would absolutely love it if you and angry legislators and angry activists could make a better deal happen, regarding this tax package and every other bit of business the GOP is holding hostage to it. I would love it if you could rally a sleeping public against the GOP's monomaniacal determination to lavish more money on the rich, and do so in such a way that the party suddenly stops voting the way North Korean soldiers march.

I want you to do better than Obama and get your deal over the finish line. I want to eat crow. I hope you get your chance and I hope you make my pessimism look entirely unfounded.

And I'd be delighted what you're doing to take advantage of this opening.

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