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House Speaker John Boehner makes a brief statement to the media at the Capitol in Washington December 19, 2012. Frustrated by their inability to wring more
Throw him an anvil, not a lifeline.
We're stuck with a GOP-led House, and not just any GOP, but the worst of the teabaggers. So any deal on the fiscal cliff would have to include at least some things unpalatable to the left. We shouldn't be under any illusions about that.

We can argue that we shouldn't have to meet in the "middle," that Democrats won big this past election, and as such have the popular mandate (as well as popular support on the specifics) to drive a hard bargain. But even the most optimistic scenario requires some give. And given that President Barack Obama has already admitted to going past the middle and into GOP territory in his desperate gambit for a deal, so much for that theory. The victor doesn't get the spoils with our current president and opposition.

But here's the thing—if you have to make concessions, at least make the other side own them. Here's what you do:

1) Only make concessions as part of a final deal. Going past the halfway point with two weeks on the calendar guarantees the GOP will reject the offer, and you're stuck there looking like an idiot having offered the farm, including cuts to Social Security, with nothing in return. Those of you arguing that this makes House Speaker John Boehner look bad are smoking something.

2) Make the GOP own the stuff no one likes. Like chained CPI. You don't propose it yourself. You let THEM propose it.

3) Then you announce the deal, say, "We got this, and this, and this. As for the GOP, they got to fuck over seniors. We fought it, but they insisted on it."

What's frustrating about this is that Democrats had gone weeks refusing to play this game—stating clearly that they had made their detailed proposal, and if Republicans didn't like it, that they had to offer their alternative with detailed cuts that they themselves would own. Public opinion was firmly behind the president and congressional Democrats.

Why Obama decided to break from what had been an effective strategy is a mystery. But it harkens to the Obama that botched the 2011 debt ceiling negotiations so thoroughly, that he's lucky he had over a year before the election to recover.

Democrats had backed Boehner into a corner, demanding he response to the Democratic proposals with specific cuts of his own, something Boehner clearly didn't want to do. That Obama decided to unilaterally and for no obvious reason bail the GOP out is simply inexplicable.

Originally posted to kos on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 03:57 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I am not for cuts in Social Security, but (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pengiep, freelunch, venger, Justin93

    "over 65" is the one age group that voted overwhelmingly for Mitt Romney.  If we had President Romney Social Security would have been cut already, by even more.  If anybody has to suffer from cuts it should be this age group.

    So I see only tatters of clearness through a pervading obscurity - Annie Dillard -6.88, -5.33

    by illinifan17 on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:00:23 PM PST

  •  Jeez! It's negotiating 101 (30+ / 0-)

    We shouldn't be having to say this to a Democratic Party that only so recently showed signs of real fight!

    Thanks Markos.

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    by twigg on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:00:51 PM PST

  •  Any and all negotiations should be televised. (26+ / 0-)

    That way if you want something included, you have to own it.  

    Boehner and the GOP knew they kept saying no to everything that eventually Pres Obama would propose what he thinks they want.

    There was zero reason to do this - you don't negotiate against yourself, especially in the political arena where the other side will leak anything that is politically advantageous to them.  

    The NRA is the Gun Manufacturer Lobby. Nothing more. Their pontification about the second amendment is nothing more than their ad jingle. They're the domestic version of the Military Industrial Complex.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:03:01 PM PST

  •  This is losing. (15+ / 0-)

    The only way to get chained CPI off the table is to scrap a deal altogether, go over the cliff, with Boehner having to own that thru his intransigence.

    Now, we're past the cliff, in January, and able to maneuver.  Pardon a repost but...

    UI is the issue, to my mind.

    Republicans say they want tax cuts?  We hold out the middle class tax cuts for Dems and Republicans to come together in the President's bipartisany kumbaya moment, as the way to a) keep the economy moving, and b) help "100%" of Americans (since the 2% also gets those cuts on their income below $250k).

    But those tax cuts would only benefit those with jobs, so in fairness we should also restore unemployment benefits for those who are seeking jobs.  Make the one possible only if both are enacted simultaneously and retroactively.  Really make this as close to 100% of Americans as we can.

    The debt ceiling stays its own thing.  Don't negotiate that; just mint the trillion-dollar coin, or several of them to forestall hostage-taking in future years.

    Let Defense deal with the cuts in expenditures; it's the only way they get included.
  •  It's just Kabuki. (8+ / 0-)

    Final deal puts the increase at $500,000 and above, no chained SS and debt ceiling fight gets taken off the table.  The can gets kicked a little further down the road.  Both sides get to say they did a little toward reducing the deficit.
    Uncertainty is over, economy grows and deficit comes down on its own.  All will be moot Saturday anyhow when the world ends.  So have a beer.

    can we all...just get...along-Rodney King

    by nspguy on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:09:28 PM PST

  •  The last word said it all... (11+ / 0-)

    Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusets, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Washington, Washington D.C. and California (pending)

    by cooper888 on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:10:02 PM PST

    •  Ujnless, as some have theorized, Obama has (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Leap Year, 3rdOption, mightymouse

      actually wanted to cut SS all along.

      If there is no accountability for those who authorized torture, we can no longer say that we are a nation of laws, not men.

      by MikePhoenix on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:03:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is perfectly "explicable" if... (5+ / 0-)

        ...the Democrats and Republicans are playing "Good Cop/Bad Cop" on the voting public.

        If you believe what the leadership of the Democratic party, including the President, has said about itself, it's inexplicable. But if you believe that the Democrats are just the cuddly wing of the Corporatist party, it makes perfect sense.

        That also explains Geithner, Summers, Immelt, the Afghan surge, whistleblower persecution, Bradley Manning torture, gitmo, the growing surveillance state, the Justice department's systemic orchestration of the attacks on OWS, zero bankers in jail for the economic collapse, zero bankers charged in the latest investigation of HSBC for laundering money for drug lords, and all the other stuff this administration has done that infuriates, not just Progressives, but average Americans (when they actually find out about it).

        Or you could believe that a brilliant man like Obama suddenly becomes a complete idiot during a negotiation.

        And write a diary wringing your hands about this "inexplicable" mystery.

        "the tranquilizing drug of gradualism" - MLK

        by 3rdOption on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:12:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Call Boehners bluff for crying out loud... (9+ / 0-)

    If Boehner and the GOP want to not raise the debt ceiling - so be it.  They're not really the nihilists you believe them to be - the MIC and the Chamber of Commerce will lose HUGE if the debt ceiling isn't raised.  

    Boehner thinks that he has the debt ceiling trump card to play in February, so is negotiating with Pres Obama with that - and Pres Obama for all the tough talk about not negotiating over the debt ceiling again is really showing that he will given how much he's caving in with these negotiations when he had the much stronger position.  

    The NRA is the Gun Manufacturer Lobby. Nothing more. Their pontification about the second amendment is nothing more than their ad jingle. They're the domestic version of the Military Industrial Complex.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:10:20 PM PST

    •  The cliff helps us bargain for more revenue (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      countwebb, venger

      1. We go over the 'cliff' and automatic spending cuts become law.
      2. War machine supporters scream bloody murder about how we're reducing America's strength and by god we HAVE to spend more on the military!
      3. Agree that any additional military spending requires a dollar for dollar social services spending coupled with matching REVENUE INCREASES to go with it so as not to worsen the deficit.

    •  If the U.S. defaults on its debt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The 1% will go into the abyss first.  Which is why they'll never allow it.

  •  It is so (5+ / 0-)

    easy to strategize when you have no real skin in the game,Kos. I know you do not think that going over the cliff is a big deal and any resulting fallout is the price of playing poker,but I suspect that the President is worried about folks not getting unemployment checks, losing their jobs,or paying that 2300 extra in taxes,that might keep them afloat.

    His decisions have real consequences, whichever way he goes.
    I agree that making the GOP be the bad guys is great,but as the deadline nears, the pressure mounts on the President to get as good a deal as possible.

    I suppose there are Presidents who have handled this type of negogiation with great skill and never pissed off anybody on one. Sausage making time,and nobody stays clean.

  •  Well I have to admit that the older (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Marti, Sylv, BleacherBum153, basket, venger

    republicans I come across @ work are not happy when they hear "SS cuts" and I ask them - what do you expect - haven't you learned anything about today's Republican Party?

    They don't start paying attention until it hurts them personally. The GOP should never have kept control of the House, not after what we saw the past 2 years.

    Sometimes I have to admit I have little sympathy for these older republicans. They just cannot stand President Obama. After all, he let all those illegals into this country...etc.

    What's truly ironic to me is that fact that we're fighting for a population that continues to side/vote with republicans because they hate democrats. At least the ones I talk to tell me that daily.

    Go figure.

  •  Just saying.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    How do we know part of the negotiation wasn't the president proposing chained cpi?

    Take Back Our Country? We Built That? HaHaHa! Barack Obama: 332; Mitt Romney: 206. HaHaHa!

    by ChiTownDenny on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:21:18 PM PST

  •  Tell me, oh wise and noble kos (4+ / 0-)

    What was the better deal that Obama could have gotten on the debt ceiling in 11? Other than saying he "botched" it, you never say what was the better alternative.

    Defaulting on our debt? Ok, Pres. Romney agrees that would've been a great idea.

    You never trust a millionaire/Quoting the sermon on the mount/I used to think I was not like them/But I'm beginning to have my doubts -- The Arcade Fire

    by tomjones on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:24:35 PM PST

  •  That would be smart negotiating 101. (7+ / 0-)

    Some people here need to take classes.

    •  One of the rules of negotiating is that (9+ / 0-)

      once an offer has been extended, you can never ask for more, only less. Another is that you never lead with your first and only offer (exceptions: Don Corleone and Atiila The Hun). BHO is not a fool. Therefore I am concluding that he's willing to give more than what he has proposed. Brace for it. And the aftermath in 2014.

      The Republican motto: "There's been a lot of progress in this country over the last 75 years, and we've been against all of it."

      by Hillbilly Dem on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:43:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Rules of negotiating" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        basket, BlackClouds

        Uh, no.

        This isn't a labor negotiation, where the NLRB has lots of regulations in place on how offers are constructed and tendered, and deviation therefrom is an Unfair Labor Practice and therefore illegal.

        Obama is perfectly free to withdraw his "offer" at any time.

        As is Boehner.

        Both sides are probably (if smart) playing the "I'd like to, but the crazies in my party won't go for it" game.

        And both sides activists (many here, and equivalent factions at RedState) won't consider anything other than total capitulation by the other side, to be acceptable.  (And will view any compromise as total capitulation by their own side).

        Politics 101, folks...

        •  I'm not talking about written rules, Scotty. (0+ / 0-)

               But if you've ever had to negotiate over anything of significance, the two that I cited are "rules", albiet unwritten. Obama is free to withdraw his offer. And look like the fool that he is not. Once it's out there, it stays.
                Have you ever been involved in a life and death negotiation? I am honestly curious as to whether you have.

          The Republican motto: "There's been a lot of progress in this country over the last 75 years, and we've been against all of it."

          by Hillbilly Dem on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:35:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  White House 101 (8+ / 0-)

    ....needed at four years in is just sad.

    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” ~ John Kenneth Galbraith

    by Lefty Coaster on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:28:37 PM PST

  •  Over the Cliff, Curb, Whatever (3+ / 0-)

    To the teabags, boehner you lead them, nobody has paid a dime for your two rubber stamped wars and all the costs of, deficits had already started rapidly rising, as did your rubber stamping, Before 9/11, all borrowed and off the books till the executive administrations changed!! Add in all the other rubber stamped bush policies, All are still added daily to that deficits! But more importantly, and related to the wars of choice, you all cheered on abandoning the main missions for even sending the military into that region with the first drum beats pointed at Iraq, are the costs for the results of these wars, a decade plus of Not paying for, added to the previous decades and under funding the VA! As you in congress and state legislatures seek to privatize the VA for more war related, blood money, profit making, the peoples Responsibility! I say let us fall off the cliff, that way everyone Sacrifices Finally as we demand the soldiers and families of to, we already have and landed on the only ledge, as you all pull at our feet while making some progress back to the plateau and level ground so we can rebuild what we once had and move forward from that,  while you're pushing the country off that to economic oblivion!! The wealthy enhanced their wealth off these wars in their investments in especially the no bid contracts or directly with same!!

    Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

    by jimstaro on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:33:54 PM PST

  •  Indeed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We can all suck it up for a while with the higher taxes.  When you're right you must be ready to sacrifice.

  •  it's his right wing financial advisers. Some (7+ / 0-)

    pundit on MSNBC was talking about it the other night. saying whitehouse staff was getting nervous about the cliff. translation: wall street will be upset and that should never happen

    To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men~~ Abraham Lincoln

    by Tanya on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:34:52 PM PST

  •  It sucks to be a Democrat (6+ / 0-)

    Oh man, I hate watching my party continually cave and capitulate.  Since his inaugaration he dropped Susan Rice due to right wing baseless attacks, and now this one.  

    Unfortunately, I am stuck with these guys until a better option comes along... and I really hope the next guy or gal has a much stronger backbone and stands up for what we believe.

    •  I didn't cave and capitulate - and neither did you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Liberal Heretic, mightymouse

      I bet both of our families are the ones who battled for the rights that way do have.

      The rich and egotistical shits who we elect as our "leaders" based on their BS personalities rather than hard policies are the ones who screw us over and over.  

      I'll tell you what, if your family had union members fighting for a 5 day work week or GI bill beneficiaries who laid it on the line when the battle was real, you know that these losers aren't responsible for our history -- we and our families are and we suffered for it.

      We have some battles ahead - but we won't cave -- we'll purge the party of all of these unprincipled professional pols!  It ain't the party -- its the jackasses in office!

  •  Or perhaps... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Marti, dewley notid, howd, mightymouse
    3) Then you announce the deal, say, "We got this, and this, and this. As for the GOP, they got to fuck over seniors. We fought it, but they insisted on it."
    You say "They demanded X.  We offered Y, but they turned it down cold, and demanded X2.  We turned around and told them it would impact Z, but they didn't care, and still demanded X.  This is why nothing has been done"

    Gotta lay it all at their feet, and show how obstinate they have been.

    I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

    by trumpeter on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:35:21 PM PST

  •  Obama & Boehner, sitting in a tree, (0+ / 0-)

    K - I - S - S - I - N - G ...

  •  It is a major strategy failure (5+ / 0-)

    and a clear exposition of tactical errors.


    We all need to be letting the White House - and our congressional representatives, Senators, our friends know that this is totally unacceptable.

    Over the cliff is the best option at this time.

    Because the game we were winning has been given away on a bad blown call, with a trick play that needn't ever have been on the list.

  •  Democrats Should Not Vote For This Deal (11+ / 0-)

    If republicans want this deal than they along should vote for it.  It will be their bill and they should own it.  If democrats get smart they will make the republican votes pass any deal with social security and medicare cuts.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:39:18 PM PST

    •  Hell Yes - No Dem Votes - Sister Souljah Obama (0+ / 0-)

      ...  make the Republicans and Obama own it but not the Dems.  Hell, I think it is past time the Congressional Dems "Sister Souljah-ed" Obama.  Bonus, AND then Democrats can run against Obama in 2014 and 2016 to show off their bipartisanship wings.

      Poor man wants to be rich. Rich man wants to king. And the king ain't satisifed until he rules everything. B.Springsteen

      by howd on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:28:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Obama/Boehner grand bargain will go nowhere (0+ / 0-)

      unless it can pass congress. Many Republicans will refuse to vote for anything involving a tax increase, even if it's just on income over $1 million. Many Democrats will not vote for any "bargain" that cuts Social Security benefits, including the chained CPI. There's already a list of Democratic Senators who promise to vote no on the chained CPI. As Sen. Harkin says, "No deal is better than a bad deal."

  •  email Senators and tell them to fillibuster (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, Senor Frog, mightymouse

    Remember right now we're still under the old rules. I'm hoping they get rid of as much of the fillibuster as possible but while it's there someone should step up.

    I'm going to email Gillibrand. She wants to be President and if Hillary doesn't run she'll be camping in New Hampshire in 2 1/2 years. Go all Jimmy Stewart on them to defend grandmas (actually my mothers) Social Security benefits. Go against everyone. Do what's right. There's got to be Senators out there who think they have a shot at the top, and after 2008 who would say they don't. This could be a national stage. And Obama could say "we tried but they're standing up for what they believe in and I respect that" and using the fillibuster to prevent screwing poor people would annoy the right so much they might not fight as much when Reid gets rid of it.

    If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

    by jgnyc on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:39:21 PM PST

  •  That's just who he is. (6+ / 0-)

    He honestly seems to believe that capitulation is strength. It. Is. Infuriating.

    Why Obama decided to break from what had been an effective strategy is a mystery.
    I called out Obama for being a poor poker player long before he was elected, and no less than Senator Russ Feingold repeated one of my comments on the matter.

    (Yeah, I like to find an opportunity to bring this up once in a while. It was one of my proudest moments.)

    It is more important to be a confident and articulate speaker than to know jack shit about anything.

    by VictorLaszlo on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:39:56 PM PST

    •  I still contend it has nothing............. (3+ / 0-)

      to do with playing poker or negotiating skills.  It is BHO's desire to have the "Grand Bargain" or what would be historically significant great compromise as a part of his legacy.

      It is about his self-perception as one who can "reach out to his enemies and make a deal."  Therefore, the "deal" itself is far more important than the details or whom it hurts or helps.  

      Of course, it could also be kabuki and he is offering what he knows the Rethugs will still not accept.  If not, I hope the Dems in the Senate protect Social Security if Boner accepts BHO’s chained CPI offer.

      The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation--HDT

      by cazcee on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:29:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Odd isn't it? (0+ / 0-)

    The posts I always dislike the most are written by kos. Guess I don't like rich guys acting like they're one of the working class.

  •  When it comes to Obama, the rule seems to be (10+ / 0-)

    Anti Occam's Razor

    Meaning, i don't understand why people keep asking why he makes bad choices that all just so happen to fall on the rightward side.

    In the law, when building a circumstantial case , even in civil trials, the reality is that the pattern alone of making the same mistakes that are all consistent with  one position over another is enough to know why.

    •  because that requires mind-reading, (0+ / 0-)

      which is impossible to reason about, or arm-chair psychology, which is absurd.

      Is Obama a Reaganite true believer? Or a Chicago school neo-liberal true believer? Or a true progressive who's horrible at negotiating? Or a 475 dimension chess player/Leto Atrides always choosing the Panglossian best of all possible worlds, which mere mortals can't see?

      It's not a fruitful discussion.

      •  i find comments like this exceptionally amusing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        How did the human race survive before Obama without having to read another person's mind in order to figure out their intent?

        How earth does the legal system determine intent of defendant's in court cases without mind reading?

        Of course, logically and empirically speaking mind reading is not the tool we use to find intent. We use circumstantial evidence like what are all the facts consistent with? Why is it that in each case where an action is taken it turns right?

        This isn't rocket science. Were anyone to take any of these defenses of Obama seriously in terms of the rest of societal interactions, our society would grind to a halt.

      •  Its a fruitful discussion as far (0+ / 0-)

        as not expecting him to do anything else.

        FOr months this site was in delusional denial until after the election and meanwhile you could read post after post that this fight was coming and Obama would have to be  challenged on this at sites like Digby

        Rather than being ready to hit the ground running eveyrone is still playing "I don't know why he's doing this."

        •  I don't think people were surprised, really (0+ / 0-)

          It's like watching someone perform after you've watched them screw up in practice. You hope this time they won't blow it, but you know that's not likely.

          •  Half the people here seem shocked to me (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            peregrine kate

            I wasn't surprised, but they seem to be. I've been reading sites like NK and Digby  which have been going in depth into manuveurs that were going on to place this as a top priority if he won.

            Matt stoller at NK for example had an excellent piece. Also NY Magazine did an excellent article on the subject

            I agree no one should be surprised, but the flatfootness of this site suggests people were

      •  Heh (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ferg, maryabein, mightymouse

        Well, you could try "If it talks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's a duck."

      •  he is the purest politician (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse, SixSixSix, dear occupant

        this country ever had.

        He intuits immediately where the power lies, and he does exactly what he must do to be on the right side of that power, smoothly, instinctively, and completely, without hesitation or compunction.

        The power lies with the 1%, not with the rest of us. He has understood that, and simply done what he had to do to propitiate the 1%, in the most effective way possible.

        Asking why Obama does what he does is like asking whether a machine thinks about its functions. Does the machine have any idea of its inner workings, or why it does what it does? No. It simply does what it was designed to do.

        I propose such an operational definition for Obama. It matters not what he may say or think or what he says about what he thinks or what he thinks about what he says: the end function is to empower the powerful.

        "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

        by limpidglass on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:38:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This! (0+ / 0-)
          He intuits immediately where the power lies, and he does exactly what he must do to be on the right side of that power, smoothly, instinctively, and completely, without hesitation or compunction.
          I think this is probably the most insightful analysis of the way that Obama operates that I've heard. It pretty much explains his entire life.
  •  Go home Boehner (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's time for Obama to wish Boehner happy holidays, tell him to go home and spend time with his family starting tomorrow and we can talk again next year.

  •  What does the GOP have that pushes (4+ / 0-)

    Obama to over capitulate?  This question nags me.

    It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

    by War on Error on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:43:20 PM PST

    •  The debt ceiling (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      War on Error, PorridgeGun

      Which they can use to keep on bringing things to the brink over and over. And unlike the tax fight, public opinion is on their side on that because people don't understand how it works. The reason the president wants a deal so badly is to take that out of contention so they can't keep raising it inch by inch and making him cut more and more to get it raised. They were demanding $1 in cuts for every $1 they raise the ceiling by...if the president can make a deal now that takes it out of play or at least does so for 2 years they don't get to play that game.

      •  That game? (0+ / 0-)

        And we, the people, are the hostages of the game, while the Military Industrial Complex is getting fatter and fatter.

        My blood might be boiling.  I might be getting too old for all this fighting.

        Off to take a break.

        Great information, btw.

        It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

        by War on Error on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:18:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  they have what he wants (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      War on Error, ferg

      obvously.  The love of the "establishment"?  Its a freaking psycho-thing.

    •  From common dreams (0+ / 0-)

      Once again, President Obama seems to be on the verge of folding a winning hand.

      Social Security and the Obama Cave-In

      Especially foolish is the cut in Social Security benefits, disguised as a change in the cost-of-living adjustment formula. Before getting to the arcane details of the formula, here’s the bottom line.

      The proposed change will save only $122 billion over ten years, but it will significantly cut benefits for the elderly.

      We will soon learn what Obama, the progressive community, and congressional Democrats are made of.

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:10:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Are 75 enough? (6+ / 0-)


        Send love to these TRUE DEMOCRATS


        Keith Ellison

        Raúl Grijalva

        Vice Chairs

        Tammy Baldwin

        Judy Chu

        William “Lacy” Clay

        Sheila Jackson-Lee

        Chellie Pingree


        Hank Johnson

        Senate Member

        Bernie Sanders

        House Members

        Karen Bass

        Xavier Becerra

        Earl Blumenauer

        Suzanne Bonamici

        Corrine Brown

        Michael Capuano

        Andre Carson

        Donna Christensen

        Hansen Clarke

        Yvette Clarke

        Emanuel Cleaver

        David Cicilline

        Steve Cohen

        John Conyers

        Elijah Cummings

        Danny Davis

        Peter DeFazio

        Rosa DeLauro

        Donna Edwards

        Sam Farr

        Chaka Fattah

        Bob Filner

        Barney Frank

        Marcia Fudge

        Luis Gutierrez

        Janice Hahn

        Maurice Hinchey

        Mazie Hirono

        Rush Holt

        Michael Honda

        Jesse Jackson, Jr.

        Eddie Bernice Johnson

        Marcy Kaptur

        Dennis Kucinich

        Barbara Lee

        John Lewis

        David Loebsack

        Ben Ray Lujan

        Carolyn Maloney

        Ed Markey

        Jim McDermott

        James McGovern

        Brad Miller

        George Miller

        Gwen Moore

        Jim Moran

        Jerrold Nadler

        Eleanor Holmes Norton

        John Olver

        Frank Pallone

        Ed Pastor

        Jared Polis

        Charles Rangel

        Laura Richardson

        Lucille Roybal-Allard

        Linda Sanchez

        Jan Schakowsky

        Jose Serrano

        Louise Slaughter

        Pete Stark

        Bennie Thompson

        John Tierney

        Nydia Velazquez

        Maxine Waters

        Mel Watt

        Peter Welch

        Lynn Woolsey

        It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

        by War on Error on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:16:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for the list! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          War on Error

          I know several of these stalwart progressive reps are lame ducks now, alas; I don't know whether the incoming class will fill (or exceed) the gaps they will leave.

          Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

          by peregrine kate on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:27:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Feel free to flame me if you must... (10+ / 0-)

    but Obama doesn't have a CLUE how to negotiate with the scorched-earther GOPers he has to deal with.

    I wish it were otherwise, b/c I like the president and his whole family.

    But let's face it: he keeps caving b/c he can't wrap his head around the fact that nobody on the right is negotiating in good faith.

    To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

    by Youffraita on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:44:02 PM PST

    •  No flames from me. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Sometimes the truth is ugly and we don't want look it in the face but that doesn't make it a lie.

      "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

      by MargaretPOA on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:59:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not even ugly, afaict: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I think Obama is trying to negotiate in good faith.

        I think he is an idiot for trying to negotiate in good faith with a bunch of scammers who do not EVER deal in good faith with anyone.

        I think he is an idiot for allowing a bunch of so-called Christians to define him...while they do everything in their power to be anti-Christian.  Hypocrites much?  Totally.

        To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

        by Youffraita on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:11:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The cliff really isn't so bad to go over. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, dewley notid, howd, dear occupant

    Sometimes you have to push the envelope.  I think Obama should never have accepted or proposed changes to the safety net in this negotiation.  It's the one thing the electorate seemed to be saying in the last election, don't touch the safety net.  And, really, given the end of defined benefit contributions, it is utterly crucial not to mess with the safety net.  The politics of this are awful and continue to astound me, but the policies are even worse.

    The liberty of democracy is not safe if people tolerate growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself.---FDR

    by masslib on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:45:05 PM PST

    •  Bad Politics * Bad Policy = Positive ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ... in Obama math.  I guess he figure if you multiplied two negatives you get a positive.  

      Even if we do luck out and go over the curb, Obama and the  Dems will own the distinction of the people who proposed cutting Social Security.  

      Poor man wants to be rich. Rich man wants to king. And the king ain't satisifed until he rules everything. B.Springsteen

      by howd on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:37:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Precisely my thoughts (4+ / 0-)

    Obama has some how managed to turn this around from a point of advantage to the point owning up to  awful concession and chasing the eight ball and now put democrats in a position where they have to carry the anchor around their neck for social security cuts.

    I know some would like to believe that Obama is some grand master playing chess, putting lives and benefits of low income groups at risks fully aware and confident of outcomes.

    I'm not sure. I think he genuinely continues to believe in the righteousness of capitulation.  He is not a fighter and doesn't like extended periods of confrontation.  He is weak and tends to blink first.

    If anyone watched the press conference this afternoon, it is clear Obama is in the mood for further concessions, especially with the tax cuts, extending them further to those who earn $500,000 to $600,000.

    Boehner looks better this week than ever was since the election.

  •  This says it all (6+ / 0-)
    " a new interview with Univision's affiliate in Miami, Obama claims that most Americans think he's smack-dab in the middle of the ideological spectrum. "The truth of the matter is that my policies are so mainstream that if I had set the same policies that I had back in the 1980s, I would be considered a moderate Republican," he said.

    he embraces republican ideas, always has and will continue to do so.  

    To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men~~ Abraham Lincoln

    by Tanya on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:47:49 PM PST

    •  He is a movement republican - no doubt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I lost my TU over that statement yesterday . . .

      •  That's bs. I thought people around here paid (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        more attention to what the President says than that. Guess I was wrong. I was surprised no one mentioned his comment in kos's previous thread on this subject. If anyone had no idea we weren't going to have to drag the President kicking and screaming over everything we want, you haven't paid attention to what he says. You should get your TU back. If we can't speak the truth then what's the point?

  •  Obama should stick to making (9+ / 0-)

    appearances at disasters and leave negotiations to somebody else. He's wonderful as a front man who can articulate the public emotions in a time of crisis. He really stinks as a backroom pol. He needs to delegate that job.

    •  Even in terms of trying to get what he wants (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Richard Lyon, PorridgeGun

      Is how I see that. Its rather odd that he thinks the way to get to five when negotiating from 0 to 10, and the other side wants 0, is to start at 3. Its clear to me that he wants to cut entitlements, but not as much as the GOP. The real issue even on that level of objective negotiation is that his actions make little sense. I remember when I used to argue that over at a site called Open left. the reality is that I don't understand the Democratic "strategy" for negotiation. Some there tried to explain to me and that I didn't understand negotiation, but time and again they demonstreate they are quite clueless even in a polittical situation, especially in a political one, about how to get what you want. I question the competency of this president to goveren. He seems to be a great campaigner, horrible at the actual governing.

  •  Is it really inexplicable? Or do you just not like (0+ / 0-)

    the explanation?  You can just blame it on Obama, but there is no substantial resistance from the D's in congress.  

    This democratic party has got to go.  

    The whole damn lot!

  •  The party has no soul. But it's profitable, eh? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mambo, squarewheel

    "Let's see what fresh fuckwittery these dolts can contrive to torment themselves with this time." -- Iain Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata

    by Rikon Snow on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:52:55 PM PST

  •  Does Kos not (0+ / 0-)

    understand that a neurotic mechanism isn't something its bearer (sufferer) can turn off/on willingly? Obama's not a fighter. He's not angered by JB—he's made anxious by JB. Kos shouldn't give up on Obama, but should aim his antagonism elsewhere: the Democratic machine that makes such disappointment perpetual.

  •  This is my favorite part of eating a shit sandwich (8+ / 0-)

    I love deciding which condiments will be best.

  •  Klassic Kos: absolutely right on. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kazoo of the north

    People, not corporations. Democracy, not totalitarian capitalism. Fuck the NRA.

    by democracy is coming on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:57:59 PM PST

  •  PS Obama wants to own this... (5+ / 0-)

    If this passes he will parade around talking about how he strengthened social security, even as some of us on the Left (he loves to talk about those of us on the Left) resisted compromise.  

    He's been talking about strengthening social security since before he was President.

    The liberty of democracy is not safe if people tolerate growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself.---FDR

    by masslib on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:58:01 PM PST

  •  Push a national refernda: 1 on SS, other on MC (0+ / 0-)

    Not that I'm serious about this because, the nation really was serious when we just had a national referendum, aka our Presidential election.

    But I can't imagine any better way to sustain a national debate in the public eye than to have a national referendum on two questions which ask, basically, if 1) Social Security  and 2) Medicare should be there for you when you need them. Drag the Boehner turdfest out as long as possible, with no doubt about the hostage taking.

    How better to call bullshit on Boehner's divination of the "will of the people"?

  •  The timeline seems like Sandy Hook softened Obama (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenbell, slinkerwink, PorridgeGun

    like he doesn't have the stomach for these brinksmanship games anymore so he made an offer that he thought would end it right now.

    He forgot that he wasn't dealing with human beings on the other side of the table.

    •  And some of the more cynical (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maryabein, PorridgeGun

      are welcoming the distraction.  I think they've decided that if everyone shuts up Americans will not know that they made a major cut to Social Security until the bill is passed and the Republicans then tell them what the Obama Middle Class Social Security Benefits Cuts bill has done to them.

  •  Obama should pull back now, just like Boehner did (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ....on the debt ceiling negotiations. Then he can cackle with glee and say, "like how THAT smells, MEAT?"

    Some people are intolerant, and I CAN'T STAND people like that. -- Tom Lehrer

    by TheCrank on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:02:22 PM PST

  •  We are not going over the "cliff." (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, mightymouse

    I think Obama will make few more concessions and they will make a deal that stinks at the 11th hour and 59th minutes just before everything shuts down.

  •  Why doesn't Obama have someone else negotiating? (10+ / 0-)

    He has many strengths, but negotiation is not one of them. Obama operates in good faith even when the other side has bad their bad faith manifest.

    Also, why isn't Harry Reid even at the table here? There should be three parties at the table: President, Senate, House, with Senate pushing far left and President trying to play the middle. As it stands, it's a negotiation between center Obama and far right House which guarantees a medium-right deal. That's not what the American people voted for.

    •  For that matter, why isn't Pelosi screaming bloody (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, venger

      murder at this point?

      Instead, we get "Chained CPI isn't really a cut".

      Tell us the damn truth. I agree. Make the GOP completely own it.

      I can only hope that we go past Jan. 1 or 3 or whenever it is we can forget this f'in cliff language nonsense.  Please, GOP, be as obstinate as I know you can be.

      •  Republicans will never own it (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PorridgeGun, mightymouse, venger

        If Obama signs a bill to cut Social Security.  He may get by with it if Americans accept it but Republicans will never own it because it will be Obama's bill.  The buck stops in the Oval Office whoever occupies it.  It will always be the Democratic Party that cut Social Security benefits.  That will be a matter of fact.

    •  bingo! thank you Luhks. (0+ / 0-)

      America...where we fight over who can be allowed to have a marriage license but don't give a shit about who can have an assault rifle.

      by dear occupant on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 12:06:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I agree. Democrats can be relied upon to (5+ / 0-)

    turn victory into defeat far too often. We have to do our best to save them by putting up a stink about the chained CPI so that Dems realize they will be paying in 2014 for what they do today. I went to my congresswoman's office today to urge her through her aides to hold the line on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. I think people have to put pressure on Congress (and I think they are), especially now that Nancy Pelosi has come out in favor of the chained CPI. She's probably thinking she can change it in a couple of years, but we, the people should give up nothing. That's how we can save the Democrats.
     I think a good negotiator has to be willing to slip off the curve. It worries me that Obama caved.

    48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam> "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." Edna St.V. Millay

    by slouching on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:05:56 PM PST

  •  Histrionics is unfashionable (0+ / 0-)

    Please stop.  No deal has been agreed to.  No one's social security has been touched.  Kos and company are getting Freep like.  Be patient.  Breath...

    Oracle2021: I live in the reality based world where facts and math do matter!

    by Oracle2021 on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:12:26 PM PST

  •  11-Dimension Chess (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zapus, gf120581, BlackClouds

    Here's my theory:
    President Obama knows that Boehner cannot be re-elected Speaker of the House without the votes of the Tea Party Caucus.  But the Tea Party Caucus isn't going to accept any deal with "reasonable" compromise, or even one where the President bends over backwards and gives way more than many here would like.

    And President Obama knows this.  He also suspects that, had he left a "reasonable" offer on the table, then let the Republicans paint it for three weeks as horrible, terrible, nasty liberal stuff, the country would be less likely to view Republicans as primarily responsible for taking us over the cliff, raising taxes, etc.

    So President Obama has offered more and more, he's put significant cuts on the table, he's touched the sacrosanct Social Security, he's offered to up the tax cut cutoff to $400K.  All these things, and the Republicans still say the plan sucks.

    They aren't going to accept a deal.  Boehner's public rhetoric is truly posturing, because too many members of his caucus will refuse to support him for Speaker if he brings them a deal that raises taxes.  

    President Obama knows this, but he's got the narrative turned into Democrats are angry at President Obama because he's offering too many concessions to Republicans on the fiscal cliff deal.  When no deal materializes, he'll have just about everyone else pointing out for him that he's the only one who kept coming to the table with compromises.  

    Taxes on everyone will be raised, and if Republicans want to cut taxes on anyone (i.e., the 98%), they'll have to negotiate.

    A 47% return on investment--that's pretty doggoned good!

    by deminva on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:15:19 PM PST

  •  Obama panicked, that's why (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zapus, ferg, mchestnutjr, Mr Robert

    A month away from the "cliff" he felt comfortable playing chicken, but the closer and realer it got, the more nervous he became, and eventually, he flinched, as amateurs do. And Boehner knows it. Obama folded on a good but not great hand, even though he knew that Boehner had a weaker one. Aside from "This is what he wanted to do all along and this has all been Kabuki" (which I am not prepared to believe yet), I can't think of any other explanation.

    Thankfully, this round was a draw, because Boehner's a greedy and weak idiot (who simply happens to be a better poker player) so he can still salvage the game (and not a little self-respect). But damn, yet another close one.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:15:57 PM PST

  •  I suspect that Obama thought that this was (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zapus, mightymouse

    the final deal or very close to the deal and that is why he went half way.

    He was doing good until the Monday when after the Sandy Hook tradegy Obama probably thought that the GOP were going to act like grown ups and get this thing done but now he must realize that no matter what the GOP will NEVER act like grown ups.

    Obama MUST learn this lesson that NEVER assume anything until Boehner and Obama TOGETHER say what the final deal is.

    President Obama, January 9, 2012: "Change is hard, but it is possible. I've Seen it. I've Lived it."

    by Drdemocrat on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:18:03 PM PST

  •  Chained CPI = signal to financial class (4+ / 0-)

    I think there is more than bad negotiating going on here.  I think Obama is sending a message to the financial overlords of the economy that he will be "responsible" about "entitlements", regardless of what happens with the fiscal cliff and even the debt limit.  This is the influence of his Treasury secretary and others of his financial advisors who have argued from day one of his administration that Social Security needs to be cut, to prove that we are not Greece.  or something like that.  Add to that, the influence of Washington policy insiders who really have never liked or understood Social Security or the social insurance principle, because earnings based entitlements, like Social Security and Medicare, are not targeted and therefore cannot be controlled by the DC policy class.  

    What will save Social Security from this kind of thinking is what FDR knew would save it - the power of the people whose benefits have been earned.  As long as we speak up.  I am appalled at Pelosi, in particular, although I suppose she is being the loyal soldier here - but to say the chained CPI will strengthen Social Security is sophistry of the highest order.  

  •  What happens if Boners vote tomorrow doesnt Pass? (0+ / 0-)

    The plan B crap that is..

    America, We blow stuff up!!

    by IndyinDelaware on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:19:19 PM PST

  •  The people will own the bad stuff (0+ / 0-)

    Ultimately this is not an exercise in better bargaining.  This all comes down to what we will have to live with.  Is this what we really want to be remembered for?  Cutting benefits just to get the wealthy to pay their fair share in taxes.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:20:03 PM PST

  •  Too late, kos (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert, maryabein

    the cow is out of the barn.  

    And the scary part is that it wasn't just a negotiating "mistake" on the administration's part, but a calculated policy decision.  They are ok with cutting Social Security.  

    Republicans are too chicken to do it.  (Otherwise we would have seen them vote for it before now).  So the argument that we "have" to give it to them or they will do it themselves is completely bogus.

    Social Security will not be cut by Republicans, because they know it would be suicide.  

    It will take a lame duck Obama to do that.  And he seems hellbent on doing it.

    •  Back when I was a kid (0+ / 0-)

      my uncle owned a chicken farm.

      There were a lot of big barns and a couple of other smaller buildings. One of the smaller buildings was for sorting eggs by size and for removing bad eggs. The other small building had a couple of counters covered with butcher block in addition to a couple of large kettles.

      I'm not even sure where the chickens were killed, but I can remember that their first stop was in one of those kettles.

      Anyway, if Obama wants to say out of that small shed by which I mean retaining any kind of support from his base he needs to pull away from making any changes to the SS COLA formula.

      No Chained CPI. Not now. Not ever.

      The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

      by Mr Robert on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:45:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You're kidding, right? (0+ / 0-)
    Why Obama decided to break from what had been an effective strategy is a mystery.
    There's no mystery. It has always been the case that to sell out social security you needed a democrat in charge. They are playing good cop bad cop and we are getting screwed. But that was always the Obama plan - screw 'em, but not as much as the Republicans would!
  •  I'm 65 and if Obama's Chained CPI (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenbell, biocon, SixSixSix, wsexson

    actually passes, I absolutely will NOT vote for any Democrat who votes in favor of this idea.

    I will also do whatever I need to do in primary elections and possibly even general elections to put any supporters of chained CPI out of office.

    That's just for starters my friends.

    The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

    by Mr Robert on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:34:23 PM PST

    •  Yes, I'm with you.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr Robert

      I'm only 30, but I want SS to exist when I retire. Any type of benefit cuts will lead to people my age saying, "To hell with it. I don't even want the damn thing anymore." Of course, that's exactly what Wall Street wants, but it's hard to sell a program to people if they perceive that it's weak and a perpetual target for more cuts.

      I'll be letting my reps know that if they vote for this, they're finished as far as I'm concerned. California has a top-2 primary system, and not only will I refuse to ever vote for a rep that supports this, but I'll go out of my way to make sure they're kicked out of office.

  •  Yeah, yeah, capitulator in chief, weak, etc. etc. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    Dyed-in-the-wool libs will soon realize come 2014 & 2016, just as in 2010, that it was OBAMA that brought the voters to the polls to win big in 2008 & 2010, not your liberal ideas.

    The more you kick Obama, the less chance you have of continuing to win a few votes from his coattails.

  •  Sales school 101 - make your pitch and STFU (0+ / 0-)

    The first one to open his mouth loses.

    Boner isn't selling anything. Boner doesn't know what he wants, but whatever it is, it's baaaad. And it changes by the hour. Obama isn't a salesman, but he is playing the long game. And he's very smart in a shrewd sort of way. He's turning Boner into a mass of jelly. The SS idea won't happen. Plan B is already today's new thing.

    Obama's got this one, We can all chill out. It ain't over 'till next year.

    So it will happen about Jan 5 and Boner holds on to his speakership, barely. Getting reafirmed after earning the title of "Cheapest SOB in the valley" and a record low, worse than Truman's "Worst Congress Ever" title. Boner's on the right wing insurrectionist's hit list if he raises taxes or caves to gun rights. After Jan5, the lame duck is over. The new House votes on the right thing to do, mostly, fake cliffdweller nonsense, The talking heads are all atwitter.

    "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

    by GrumpyOldGeek on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:42:32 PM PST

  •  yeah, never got that argument (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    and you're stuck there looking like an idiot having offered the farm, including cuts to Social Security, with nothing in return. Those of you arguing that this makes House Speaker John Boehner look bad are smoking something.

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:53:54 PM PST

  •  This is real. (0+ / 0-)

    This line strikes home for moral reasons, beyond strength and image, to which the also positively apply. And should serve as a guidepost.

    They had done so well pushing the GOP to make specific spending cuts, something Boehner clearly didn't want to do. And then they unilaterally and for no obvious reason decided to bail the GOP out. Inexplicable.
     Hold the line. Say again to the R's 'Please proceed.' with your proposed cuts'. Now, there is no visible reason for a deal unless they put their cuts on the table. Sec Tim Geithner, and Leader Nancy Polosi have it right, on facts and delivery. She said, 'Do your Job Mr. Speaker.' I did.'      

         Predictably, the R's have over reached, with this 'option' gambit.. Now the board resets. To? the original bet. Let, the Pelosi team with Reid running shotgun, work out the Congressional deal. It is their lane and their job.
          Go home, 'You did good.' Use the the holidays, to reflect, on the big picture. Beyond issue of war and peace? International development is big, there are markets to be won.  Progressive 'bill paying budget balancing ' money to be made.  Asia Africa South America hang in the balance.

         When they strike a budget deal in DC? Let them come to Hawaii to have it signed and chill for a while.
      Whats happening with the current Speaker is so far beneath 'that' office, let alone The office of a newly reelected US President? To dignify any more direct meetings or calls from the Ohio Congressman is a stretch. Pres Obama is not their ..  
           Let the Rs make their sausage.
     Leaders Pelosi and Harry Reid will call when the deal is done.  

  •  Sigh. More needless hysteria over nothing. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    realwischeese, winsock

    Why were we even worrying about this? Of course this was going nowhere. Why? Because as this showed yet again, the DWOL has no control whatsoever over his caucus. And now Obama can go, "See, look, I tried to compromise with these guys and play fair, but they act like spoiled children who refuse anything that isn't 100% what they want."

    I have no idea why so many of us here turned into a bunch of Chicken Littles so quickly.

    •  Plus, progressives do forget one important factoid (0+ / 0-)

      We do not have the House majority. I would like to see any social security changes take effect in 2015, giving the Dems the 2014 election to win back the House. As a matter of fact, give them a few other concessions to get the immediate stimulus, the unemployment comp, and the debt ceiling bullshit done away with as well. Make everything they want kick in on jan 1 2015. Then start the 2014 campaign with more energy than the 2012 re-election.

      "Too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others" Robert F. Kennedy

      by realwischeese on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:04:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why must a Democratic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stevej, venger

    newly elected president make concessions with the RW maniac's he just defeated? This is a lame duck session the Republicans may own the House but not the Senate and not the executive branch. At some point the political kabuki and manipulation of the process needs to just cease and desist.  Why can't Obama just veto any budget that includes cuts to a beleaguered populist who is expected to pay the debt that was incurred by these fuckers in the first place?

    Go off this fake cliff and stop giving the deficit hawks, free market fundies hysteria from both party's any credence. We won and wining counts they lost and so did their fake deficit hysteria and cliffs of bs and cries of austerity now. I question the whole concept that this fake disaster among so many fake crises and kabuki, requires some give. If anything it requires some will and courage to turn the page on the prevailing by-partisan DC agreement that the common good isn't profitable and WS and the war profiteers need to be fed at our sacrifice.        

    I see another screw coming including hostage taking and the absurd meme that we have no power and yet we won on every level politically speaking. So what good are the Dems if they won't fight teh scary evil we voted against. You don't make bargains with devil you just vanquished unless you want the same outcome. The whole set up reeks of corrupt power plays.

    The 'new Democrat's' are working on the same bogus wavelength. They hate us for our freedom's, at least the 4 freedoms that FDR articulated, instead they tell us we must sacrifice to maintain a NWO that is destroying both human life and the planet we all must live on. So what good does it do to the people when our Democratic party cut's deals with the scary teabaggers who just lost.        

  •  Going Back to May (0+ / 0-)

    Well, we can't. We are stuck with the sow's ear, not the silk purse. So, we gotta make the best of it.

    I'm putting Democrats on notice that the 2014 congressional elections are under way. I'm looking at who is working for us and who's just extra baggage that could be jettisoned.

    Obama isn't the key. The key is our representatives in Congress (both houses). They need to hear in very, very clear terms that their careers are on the line.

    And, when you talk with them, ask them what they plan to get for cutting benefits? The problems don't go away. Are they planning to get an increase in the minimum wage? Are they planning to get a higher percentage payout to unemployed? Are they willing to extend benefits beyond 99 weeks? Are they willing to increase tariffs, so that we see some jobs around here? Are they going to start moving toward a publicly-funded healthcare system instead of the expensive mess we've got?

    When are they going to start fixing the problems that cause people to depend on government assistance? When are they going to move forward on increased wages and higher incomes for Americans?

    This is not a tradeoff for higher tax rates. The higher tax rates are a given because we've had tax cuts. Lower tax rates failed. Until rates are back where they were fifty years ago there's nothing to trade on that.

    We need to change the narrative. The narrative is not about fixing the deficit mess. The deficit is just a byproduct of lousy economic policy from Congress. They need to get back on the path to expanding jobs and wages, or there will never be enough money to pay off the deficit.

    And as for cutting Social Security and Medicare. Explain to me again why that's necessary. Are you planning to work longer and then be poorer in retirement than you're already going to be?

    Apparently, we need to do this negotiation ourselves. I could pick any one of you at random and you'd do a better job.

  •  Why is the President such a doofus? Hasn't he (0+ / 0-)

    learned anything from his first term?  Why is he bothering to negotiate with Republicans?  I don't understand, but it's making me sick watching it all unfold.  NO GUTS!

  •  "inexplicable" (0+ / 0-)

    that's the word i've been looking for, thanks.

    "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

    by kj in missouri on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 07:32:48 PM PST

  •  I'm just disgusted w/ the president right now (0+ / 0-)

    He's negotiating against himself. I wouldn't let him negotiate for a car for me no less the fiscal cliff. He doesn't seem to get that throwing a bunch of concessions in exchange for nothing is bad negotiating. He just seems to lack the ability to stand tough against Boehner, and I just do not get it.

  •  Would y'all prefer raising the Medicare age? (0+ / 0-)

    Nancy Pelosi was able to get that taken out of the deal; changing CPI is much less bad than that.

    22/Male/ D/Native of OH-16, Attending Graduate School in NC-04. Hoping for Richard Cordray or Ted Strickland for OH-Gov 2014.

    by liberal intellectual on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 07:45:20 PM PST

  •  Negotiations should be public. (0+ / 0-)

    The Dems should make public every offer and every GOP counter-offer--all of the details, plus summaries of the highlights.

    Let the public see who's really who.

    This behind-closed-doors stuff is a giant mistake. It encourages people to try to get away with stuff they know they can't justify.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 07:48:52 PM PST

  •  thanks kos. i agree. (0+ / 0-)

    the gun nuts have worn me down all week, but  i am
     truly disappointed in  the cynical, haughty, cocksure tone in a lot of the comments here tonight.
    so i'm out of here for now. will keep reading you and your excellent staffers' work as usual.

  •  Nancy P, the President, and The Stadium Pal (0+ / 0-)

    looks like Nancy P and the pres are republican lobbyists in Democrat's clothing doing the suck this sucker hokey pokey. After drinking kool aid from Kate Moss's bikini, Karl Rove's mother will be replacing Jay Leno on The Tonight Show. Politicans, even the ones sporting sartorial splendor, start foaming at the mouth. Boehner the Mystic says that "The Stadium Pal is the ultimate portable urinal, and has opened the doors for many other users. I use it as a portable bar and sun tan salon. If it bakes my cookies, it will bake yours."

  •  Our Kos Speaks with Great Political Wisdom! (0+ / 0-)
  •  not in Republican world or today's media (0+ / 0-)
    As for the GOP, they got to fuck over seniors. We fought it, but they insisted on it.
    no, the Republicans will run against the Dems accusing them of cutting Social Security.  that's how it works.  we should all know that by now.

    I'm a blue drop in a red bucket.

    by blue drop on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 10:37:24 PM PST

  •  Yes, wait for the GOP to make a SS proposal... (0+ / 0-)

    "2) Make the GOP own the stuff no one likes. Like chained CPI. You don't propose it yourself. You let THEM propose it."

    This reminds me of the incident in the Civil War when all of Lincoln's advisors were telling him that his current general (McClellan, I think) was no good, and that every possible replacement general was also no good.  Lincoln's response was something like "That's fine for you.  But me?  I'm President and I must have SOMEONE."

    Kos is right that the GOP SHOULD own the cuts.  But if we wait for them to propose anything, nothing will be proposed.  They can sit by and take pot-shots and it matters nothing to them.  The President, however, has no such luxury.  As a normal human with a normal sense of obligation to others, the President is obliged to ensure that the USG functions as best as it is able to, whether that reflects on him fairly or not.

    It's easy to underestimate the willingness of the GOP to blow the place up (metaphorically speaking, of course!!).  But remember, at the end of the day, they are committed anarchists and having any governmental breakdown or failure is not only acceptable to them, but their actual aim.

  •  I don't know if it was today, (0+ / 0-)

    But I saw a clip of Boehner saying that Obama would have to take responsibility for the biggest tax increase in history. LMFAO!!!

    Unless you watch Fox, you should see through that bullshit. That's not even clever.....let's see

    The guy with the upperhand actually being willing to compromise


    The group of baby/losers Filibustering their own bills and turning their noses up at anything other than "Everything" despite that fact that they lost.

    Yeah, good one John. We'll see who Americans not being mindfucked by Fox think is to blame.

  •  it's not inexplicable. it's just that you don't (0+ / 0-)

    like or believe the possible explanations.

    This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

    by mallyroyal on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 07:29:19 AM PST

  •  What is it with GOPs and all those American flags? (0+ / 0-)

    Does five American flags behind the Speaker suggest that screwing the middle class and poor people is all American? I'm reminded more of used car dealers who sell shit on lots surrounded by American flags. This leads to the mutiple flag conjecture: the more flags in the background the bigger the lies and screwing coming your way.

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