Compromise After Compromise Is Just Defeat After Defeat (Updated):
If the Rude Pundit was a congressional Democrat this morning, he'd feel like he woke up with the biggest fucking hangover. He'd feel like he went to a party at his friend Barry's place and got so shitfaced that he only remembers dribs and drabs of the evening before. Sure, sure, Barry's not his best buddy, but he trusted the dude enough that he felt safe drinking his ass off there. But some jerks must have been invited and they must have fuckin' roofied his drink 'cause he sure didn't ask anyone to write "Cum Bitch" on his forehead. And he's thinks he tastes semen. And why are his leg muscles feeling strained? And, holy fuck, why does his asshole hurt? Yeah, if he was a Democratic House member, especially, he'd feel like he'd have to find a bucket to vomit in and never stop and he'd be left to wonder what the hell happened and no one, no one, not Barry, not anyone else at the party, would be able to adequately say. And he'd be have a couple of choices on what to do: find out who did this to him so that person can be punished or let it go and try, no matter how difficult, to move on.
There's writers on the left trying to spin President Obama's deal on extending the Bush tax cuts for two years. They talk about long-term strategy and the potential for 2012. Essentially, what that means is that the President'll re-argue one of the very things that inspired a large majority to vote for him in the first place. In other words, Obama's next campaign would have to say something along the lines of, "Hey, you know how I said I'd let those tax cuts on the wealthy expire last time? Boy, I really, really mean it now." Yeah, man, let's have that soul-searching discussion of American tax rates. Let's see how it goes.
We're talking about a public that was too stupid to realize that health care reform was not a government takeover of Grandma's feeding tube. We're talking about a public that didn't realize that Obama lowered taxes for 95% of the population, that were dead sure that an evil socialist Kenyan was taking money out of their pockets to pay ACORN to have Black Panthers stare blackly and pantherly at white voters in Crackerville, Pennsylvania. Thumbs up for thinking ahead. How'd that kicking it down the road work out before the midterms?
Yes, compromise supporters are correct that an extension of unemployment insurance for 13 months to those whose benefits are just running out (but not those whose ran out before now) is a good thing. And the only thing one can say to that is that the GOP sure fucking outgunned the Democrats without ever firing a shot. This is the end result of nearly two years of nonstop capitulation. Was there a single speech by the President where he said that Republicans were keeping food from the mouths of poor children in order for rich people to give their kids cars with sweeter rims? No, and that's because the poor are always the pawns, man, readily sacrificed until they're really needed. There were ways to have this fight. Get governors involved because a shift of 2 million people off unemployment would have meant a fuck of a lot of people needing public services mostly provided by overburdened, under-revenued states. Take the fight big and open instead of small and backroom.
As far as compromises go, what would Republicans give up? The word "permanent"? That's about it. And what would Democrats give up? One of the major planks of their platform. Fuck, this doesn't even include a vote on Don't Ask, Don't Tell. And it ain't even definite that Republicans are gonna support the extension of unemployment because they're just motherfuckers.
Sorry, dear, sweet, strong Obama supporters. But congressional Democrats should rebel. They should tell Joe Biden today that it ain't gonna happen, that Mitch McConnell can shove it up his ass, that the minority leader needs to explain to America why it's more important to give the wealthy several hundred billion dollars in tax relief rather than extend unemployment, which would cost less then five months of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. In fact, Nancy Pelosi should donate some of her spine to the President and tell him to join with them. How many more times does this happen? If Obama is willing to cave so quickly with Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, what's he gonna do with a Republican House abetting a filibustering Senate minority?
The Rude Pundit fears, though, ah, Christ, he fears that we've been cornered again, the cat too afraid to lash out at the rats. Even in defeat (and it was defeat), even while saying that Republicans were wrong, President Obama took a swipe at the left: "The American people didn’t send us here to wage symbolic battles or win symbolic victories." No, we didn't. But one of the reasons we sent you there was because you said, over and over and over, that you'd make the undertaxed, over-loopholed wealthy pay a couple of percent more of their income in order to secure the blessings of liberty for the entire nation.
Update: To be sure, Republican bear almost the entire blame for this debacle. However, almost everyone on the left was telling the President that his approach to bipartisanship was going to bite him on the ass. Republicans acted like Republicans. Obama acted like his ass was made of titanium when it was just flesh after all.