Again, I want to stress that I wish Obama had done all the things critics say he should have done. Why didn’t he? Was it a political decision to project a desire for compromise at the outset to win independents? Did he, as Jonathan Chait argues, seriously misjudge opponents? I tend to think Obama sincerely decided that a more table-pounding approach would have been counter-productive. That’s who Obama is. Whatever the reason, we simply can’t know whether a more aggressive approach from Obama would have changed the basic dynamics of the situation or resulted in a better deal.
But it’s precisely because we can’t know that I hope he will do things differently next time, perhaps when the battle rejoins over the expiration of the Bush tax cuts — a fight which, if he wins, will make the current deal far better. The current dynamic just has to be changed somehow, because it’s untenable. MORE...
Monday, August 01, 2011
Greg Sargent: "Did the president surrender, or did he do the best he could?"