Matthew Yglesias: Obama’s 2010 Lame Duck Tax Deal Was a Triumph, Not A Sellout …. David Corn has an interesting piece (see below) pushing back on the myth of the Obama cave-in, but I’d go further – the deal was a triumph …
….. Obama secured a deal that extended the middle class tax cuts, extended UI benefits, created a stimulative payroll tax holiday, cleared the legislative decks for Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal and the passage of the New START arms control treated, and in exchange he gave up nothing of any real substance …. now he gets to play that leverage from a somewhat stronger economic and political context. It’s totally solid legislative dealmaking, and not any kind of cave-in or surrender.
David Corn (Mother Jones): ….. Obama didn’t wave the white flag in 2010. He turned a face-off over the Bush tax cuts into an opportunity to enact a second stimulus that he otherwise could not get past Senate Republicans. His failure at that time was not that he mustered insufficient mettle; he failed to convey to the world that he had ju-jitsued the GOPers.
…. no one ought to forget that Obama, a progressive in his policy preferences, remains a pragmatist. What happened two years ago is not an indication that Obama is likely to yield in the new face-off, but that he will be assessing the political dynamics in gridlocked Washington and be willing to bargain hard for a good deal with true benefits. That’s not caving in. It’s governing.
NYT: When Tea Party activists swamped town hall-style meetings about health care in the summer of 2009, President Obama’s army of campaign volunteers largely stayed away ….. now, Mr. Obama is seizing a second chance to keep his election-year supporters animated.
With lawmakers scheduled to return to work on Monday to begin intense discussions before a looming fiscal deadline, Mr. Obama’s aides are trying to harness the passions that returned him to the White House, hoping to pressure Republicans in Congress to accept tax increases on the wealthy. The president’s strategists are turning first to the millions of e-mail addresses assembled by the campaign and the White House.
Already, supporters are being asked to record YouTube videos of themselves talking about the importance of raising taxes on the rich. Aides said those videos would be shared on Facebook and Twitter and would be forwarded to centrist Democrats, as well as to mainstream Republicans, who they hope will break with their Tea Party colleagues.