It was Holmes that offered the most famous, repeated, and I believe most important observation about clues to what is happening - "The Dog the Didn't bark." I believe I am witnessing something extraordinary on DailyKos that perhaps sums up the last few days more than any diary could - "The pie fight that is not happening." There have always been pie fights when a popular politician is criticized at any length. There are those that rush to his or her defense. It is annoying but I also thought there was something wonderful about them - in some ways they kept balance. I think Obama has been the subject of his share of pie fights. I remember being part of one or two myself. There were always those rushing to defend Obama with as loud a pen as they could, with enough allies to get at least a few diaries to the recommended list. But what I just realized this time - even though Obama is being flayed without mercy on DailyKos and across the progressive movement - there is no pie fight. There is nobody claiming eleven dimensional chess or that Obama is making a Hobbesian choice he was forced into. There are very few admonishing us to wait. This leads me to believe that, another great line, Obama has screwed the pooch on this one. Even many of his dead enders have been stunned into silence.
My feelings are so mixed about Obama. OnePissedoffliberal has a diary at the top of the recommended list that perfectly describes my feeling. But I always thought as long as there are people who have hope, there must be hope. But Obama's last few days on the deficit talks seem to have drowned hope, drowned out everything. He betrayed Biden (who may never now be the Democratic candidate for president because he promised social security should not be touched). He betrayed Pelosi, who I don't think will ever be speaker again. He betrayed Reid who will have a much more difficult time controlling his caucus. Maybe most of all he betrayed himself. He was poised to push ahead the most far reaching gun control in a generation or more, and now he has stepped completely on his message with this deficit deal. Why now, why this way? I know the explanations that Obama always wanted to cut social security, but even if true it was a massive bargaining chip, he could have used it to get something he really believed in. He gave it away so Boehner could laugh at him like a well oiled confidence man counting his money on the way out of town. It makes absolutely no sense no matter what reason you give for it. The only explanation is that Obama is kind of a schlemiel. He'd be great as a professor, or as a white knight lawyer (although not one that has to negotiate). But not as president. Maybe that is why the silence, the despair, the lack of energy to fight for him.
By the way I think he can salvage this by giving Boehner twelve hours to accept and then pulling the deal off the table. Then we can all buckle our seat belts for the cliff.