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I'll make this short and sweet:

* Negotiations are ongoing.  The parameters of the negotiations will change Jan 1, and may change again in March or so.

* Until a deal is done, everything that is said openly, or rumored, or leaked, is speculation.  It may be bluffing, it may be serious, it may be public relations.

* Once a deal is done, what happened leading up to it doesn't matter much, except for the political historians.

* The role of activists is to help our side get the best deal possible.  If that means being a pain in Obama's ass, great!  The president is a big boy and can take it, and I'm sure he's smart enough to know that some level of criticism from the left strengthens his hand.  (Too much would weaken it, as Boehner found about, but the Democrats are not in that position).

* Some of the personal stuff, however, is not helpful--particularly that directed at other Kossacks.  Again, Obama can take it--some of his supporters need reminding that he can deal with intemperate criticism from the left (and is not afraid to engage in hippie-punching if need be).  And some of his detractors, especially the folks that seem convinced that Obama really is a corporate sellout, as opposed to those using targeted criticism as a means to steer the negotiations to the best deal (Kos is certainly in the latter camp), also need to keep in mind that not all Obama supporters are as clever about this as he is.  Too many people here are taking political arguments personally.

* The chamber of Congress that gets to be the bad cop (for the left) in the negotiations is the Senate, not the House; that's were we wield the gavel.  Nancy Pelosi needs to be the "good cop"; given that the GOP caucus is entirely nuts, whatever deal gets passed will likely need substantial Democratic support.  Harry Reid, on the other hand, gets to play the part of the crazy guy who must be satisfied, as he's outside the negotiations within the House.  So don't be surprised (or outraged) that the Senate leadership has acted more progressive than the House leadership of late.

* It will be interesting to see who holds the Speaker's gavel next year.  Wouldn't surprise me if it isn't John Boehner.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good points (0+ / 0-)

    Especially about the president being able to take criticism.

    I made a promise to myself that I would help Obama get re- elected but I will call him out if I think he is going back on campaign promises.  Sadly, by offering chained CPI, he broke a promise not to cut SS.  I called him out on it and stand by what i said.

    Politicians use our time and money to get elected.  In return, it is reasonable to expect that they live up to campaign promises as best as they can.  The president offered no explanation for why cutting social security benefits was necessary.  To say it was to make a deal is ridiculous.  He should explain why it would not be a bad thing and how it will help.

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

    by noofsh on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 01:55:51 PM PST

  •  Yep. Pretty simple if all one cares about (0+ / 0-)

    is Washington political gamesmanship.

    But if one is on the ground floor in any one of innumerable government agencies nationwide tasked with "Make it happen!", their only response can be, "Make WHAT happen?".

    Little things.

    Like the IRS reprogramming its computers, in time for 15 April (let alone those wanting to file in 2 weeks to cop their refund--how does August sound?). Hint -- for them, it's not just all about marginal tax rates.

    Or like the fifty states, still at top dead center awaiting those agencies to spring into action with guidance about they know not what or when.

    Oh, I forgot, the citizenry, some of whom, believe it or not, don't care about any of your points, but just want a little competency and consistency in application from their respective governmental overlords.

    Some seem to believe their anger will be somehow perfectly bifurcated between the Parties -- another triumph of hope over experience.

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