Free Markets, Free People

Tax “cuts”, hostages and the left

It is a zoo in Congress right now.  And the left is not happy with the deal President Obama made with the GOP.  Heck, even some of the GOP aren’t happy with it.

Frank Rich likened much of what is happening with a hostage situation, although he cast Obama in the role of the hostage and the GOP as the hostage takers.  His attempted point was to excuse Obama’s behavior (and GOP outreach) by invoking the “Stockholm syndrome”. 

Obama then took the meme and included it in his press conference.  However he declared the GOP’s hostages to be the middle class and the unemployed.

Today, Paul Krugman carries on the meme with another set of hostages.  This time the hostages are a set of economic circumstances set up by the tax deal that will reflect badly on Democrats in an election year (2012).  Krugman throws around a bunch of accusations featuring implied GOP dirty tricks or desires (for instance: “Republicans may try using the prospect of a rise in the payroll tax to undermine Social Security finances. “).  But mostly he’s not at all happy with the shrinking President:

Which brings me back to Mr. Obama’s press conference, where — showing much more passion than he seems able to muster against Republicans — he denounced purists on the left, who supposedly refuse to accept compromises in the national interest.

Well, concerns about the tax deal reflect realism, not purism: Mr. Obama is setting up another hostage situation a year down the road. And given that fact, the last thing we need is the kind of self-indulgent behavior he showed by lashing out at progressives who he feels aren’t giving him enough credit.

The point is that by seeming angrier at worried supporters than he is at the hostage-takers, Mr. Obama is already signaling weakness, giving Republicans every reason to believe that they can extract another ransom.

It was at this point – as usual when I read things like this – that I start to chuckle.  Because when “pundits” like Krugman write such stuff, I have to wonder upon what they base their belief that the sort of behavior they claim Obama is now exhibiting is somehow different than what he’s exhibited in the past.  In other words, when has Obama exhibited behavior different than what he is now that would leave one to believe he’s “strong”?

That seems to be Krugman’s point – he’s exhibiting “weakness”.  He’s “signaling weakness”.  Yeah?  Well when has he ever signaled strength?

It is a point made over and over here but the left, it appears, is finally unwrapping the package they’ve put in the White House and are finding the box is pretty much empty.  I’m constantly amazed that they’re still discovering that.

Look at this, for instance, from an interview aired today on NPR:

"STEVE INNSKEEP: Can you accept some changes to this plan or is it the kind of deal you cannot change?

"PRESIDENT OBAMA: My sense is there are going to be discussions between both House and Senate leadership about all the final elements of the package. Keep in mind we didn’t actually write a bill. We put forward a framework. I’m confident that the framework is going to look like the one we put forward…

"Here’s what I’m confident about, that nobody — Democrat or Republican — wants to see people’s paychecks smaller on Jan. 1 because Congress didn’t act."

This is no different than the health care bill where he airily said "we need health care legislation" then mostly stayed aloof from the both the process and the fight. Well, as we said then, that’s not leadership. And nothing has changed despite the constant and almost daily surprise the left undergoes as it constantly discover this guy is no leader.

Heck, I know why this deal is in trouble with Congressional Democrats even if he and Paul Krugman don’t.  He’s simply not a leader, never has been, and all indications are he never will be.  He seems overwhelmed by the job and really has no idea how to proceed.  And he’s frustrated by his natural base turning on him (which is why he saves his harshest criticism for them) and outmaneuvered by a minority opposition that should be easy meat for a talented politician (and leader).

Same tune, different verse – and when the song changes rather dramatically in January with the seating of the 112th Congress, it’s only going to get louder and worse – for the left that is.

Face it lefties – the only thing that might actually see a Democrat in the White House in 2013 is if that Democrat happens to win a primary in 2012 against Obama.  If there are really any hostages taken in all of this it is the entire leftosphere – and the hostage taker is Barack Obama.

~McQ

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24 Responses to Tax “cuts”, hostages and the left

  • The Dear GolferKeep in mind we didn’t actually write a bill [so you can’t blame me for anything about it that you don’t like]. We [my staff, really; I was on the links] put forward a framework [we jotted down a few things on a napkin while waiting for my wagyu burger at the clubhouse]. I’m confident that the framework is going to look like the one we put forward [and, again, if it doesn’t… well, it’s not my fault.  Even better, since we didn’t really write anything down, I can spin what happens – no matter WHAT happens – to my advantage in the months and years to come.]

    Crazy Paulie – Which brings me back to Mr. Obama’s press conference, where — showing much more passion than he seems able to muster against Republicans …

    Is it just me, or does it sound like Teh Krug is accusing The Dear Golfer of the thought crime of not hating Republicans enough?
    Crazy Paulie – The point is that by seeming angrier at worried supporters than he is at the hostage-takers, Mr. Obama is already signaling weakness, giving Republicans every reason to believe that they can extract another ransom.

    Haven’t the lefties spent many months decrying these sorts of violent analogies and rhetoric?  I guess it’s OK to use any sort of language to describe Republicans / Tea Party people, but heaven Gaia forbid that anybody use any but the most polite, restrained, courteous language when referring to the left.  The little dears are sensitive, you know.  Why, using the word “socialist” to describe a party that has used the power of the government to essentially sieze two major US auto corporations and assert practical control over our banking and health care industries is enough to send them into a tizzy.  It’s just not done, you know.

  • Jacobson via Krauthammer is saying this deal was a rope-a-dope.
    Obama is going to spend ANOTHER HUGE STIMULUS OUT of this, if what they’re saying is actual-factual.

  • “Well when has he ever signaled strength?”
     
    Suing Arizona for trying to enforce immigration policies?
    Uh….trying to stop Honduras from following it’s Constitution?
    Calling the Cambridge Mass Police department stupid?
     
    No?  None of those even?

    • “I’ve not seen or witnessed evidence of any smoking in probably nine months,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said. “I think he has worked extremely hard.

      If Obama keeps this up, in two years he will have at least one item on his short list of accomplishments.

    • Using predators more aggressively?

  • “…it’s only going to get louder and worse – for the left that is…” is so correct.  The leftist are so dogmatic that it’s their way or no way.  We are seeing more civil unrest in europe (especially England right now).  People are tired of the ‘same tune’ cause no one is feeling the recovery…just reading about it.

    It’s becoming too much with corrupt politicians & a corporate government.  Need to read a new book just out about Americans who actually take a stand against tyranny (based in part on real people & events). It’s a thriller so I recommend it.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     
    http://www.booksbyoliver.com

    With foreclosures, people losing their homes & jobs thus families breaking up with divorces, it’s only going to get worse while our politicians fight over the control of power instead of fighting for us. 
    Great article, Bruce.

  • “The Won” has definitely fallen to Earth …
    One member I talked to said if this is the way he’s going to negotiate with the Republicans, what’s he going to do with the Iranians, you know?

  • I think this is somewhat of a bad rap on President Peter Principle. The White House doesn’t usually draft legislation, it provides a framework or a set of guidelines for what the President wants. In that respect what he’s done is no different from what any other President has done.
     
    Where he has done a major face plant is not doing all the necessary horse trading and coordination within the Congress. In this instance it’s not so much a failure of leadership as a failure of political management.
     
    I’m going to close out by stealing a dollop of conventional wisdom from 25 years ago:
     
    This would never have happened if Barrack Obama was President!
     

  • “Here’s what I’m confident about, that nobody — Democrat or Republican — wants to see people’s paychecks smaller on Jan. 1 because Congress didn’t act.”

    Ok then why didn’t the majority party act six months ago?

    • You know the old joke about the guru, asked to name the two greatest problems facing mankind.  His response: ignorance and apathy.
      Asked next what could be done, the guru replied: “I don’t know, and I don’t care”.  Procrastination is another factor, as is gross irresponsibility…or cowardice.

      • … but they ran on “ending the Bush tax cuts” in 2008

        We won’t increase taxes on any family earning under $250,000 and we will offer additional tax cuts for middle class families. For families making more than $250,000, we’ll ask them to give back a portion of the Bush tax cuts to invest in health care and other key priorities.

        I guess somebody forgot that the “rich” don’t start at $700 a year.  Besides, they did say a “portion”, not all of the Bush tax cuts.

    • I was asking this when Larry Summers, part of Obama’s crack economic team, said failure to act may result in a double dip recession.

  • NOBODY can listen to Obama talking about this and not worry about his mental state.
    I’ve been aware of his tendency to contradict what he said in the same long paragraph for some time, even in the SOTU speech.
    Now, though, he’s contradicting what he says within the same sentence.
    Unraveling…???

  • Nothing signals “strength” by leaving your own presser in the middle and allowing a former President to make your case for you.

    That’s just pathetic.

  • Heh.

    Obama is trying to sell it too the left by bringing in Bill Clinton or a presser–and leaving Clinton to finish it an answer questions.

    My guess we will see more of Bill, while O takes his wife out or plays golf.

    • “I have a Christmas Party to get to”

      Jeeze, excuse us Baracky. Wouldn’t want to get in the way of your job.

      But relax, where’s the fire?  You’re the effing POTUS. I’m pretty sure they’ll hold the party until you saunter in.

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), sort of gets something right (hey, even a stopped clock is right twice a day).

    When Is Enough, Enough?

    Going after “multi-millionaire crybabies” then lumping them in with those families making $250k a year is BS.
    When is the insatiable appetite of the Left going to be satisfied ?  … never.

  • White Rose, you are damn right! From my perspective sitting here in the UK there is NO recovery happening! Instead of boosting the economy by cutting the punitive taxes the last socialist government raised up they are raising them again! Our sales tax hits 20% on Jan 4th!