The White House, for the umpteenth time, has approached a negotiation by signaling in advance its willingness, if pushed to the wall, to make major concessions - in this case, a temporary tax-cut extension for the rich. It doesn't take a genius to recognize this as a flawed bargaining strategy. Voters may want more bipartisan cooperation in Washington, but I believe they also want their president to fight for the principles that got him elected.Howie P.S.: I guess this now makes Gene part of "the professional left."
Democrats in Congress are all over the map. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House leadership, predictably, are ready to have a fight on what they see as favorable political terrain. In the Senate, Democrats have to parse the implications of a GOP threat to halt all business until the tax cut issue is dealt with. And everyone wonders whether the White House intends to stand tough, or has decided to give in, or has already caved - or, perhaps, has a specific preferred outcome in mind. If so, the White House doesn't seem to have made clear what the objective is, much less how to get there.
Friday, December 03, 2010
Eugene Robinson: "What is the Democratic Party's bottom line? Who knows?"
Eugene Robinson (WaPo):