Woah, Woah! Kick-ass President or Kick-assed President?

Did President Obama and democrats get royally kick-assed by republicans in this deal?

YES! says TBogg:

I am trading your social safety net cow for the promise of some magic beans that I will plant when I am re-elected which, by the way, David Plouffe assures me is totally gonna happen now. You can thank me later.

YES! says Krugman:

The President Surrenders
By PAUL KRUGMAN Published: July 31, 2011

Did the president have any alternative this time around? Yes.

First of all, he could and should have demanded an increase in the debt ceiling back in December. When asked why he didn’t, he replied that he was sure that Republicans would act responsibly. Great call.

And even now, the Obama administration could have resorted to legal maneuvering to sidestep the debt ceiling, using any of several options. In ordinary circumstances, this might have been an extreme step. But faced with the reality of what is happening, namely raw extortion on the part of a party that, after all, only controls one house of Congress, it would have been totally justifiable.

At the very least, Mr. Obama could have used the possibility of a legal end run to strengthen his bargaining position. Instead, however, he ruled all such options out from the beginning.

YES! says Erza:

Democrats are going to lose this one. The first stage of the emerging deal doesn’t include revenue, doesn’t include stimulus, and lets Republicans pocket a trillion dollars or more in cuts without offering anything to Democrats in return.

YES! says Jeff Zeleny:

But the fine print of the agreement makes clear that Republicans received more of what they demanded than did Mr. Obama, who acquiesced in his initial call for a balanced mix of spending cuts and new revenues, despite repeatedly trying to seize the bully pulpit to build support for his argument.

YES! saya The Atlantic:

Obama Weakened by Debt Deal
The months-long melodrama leaves President Obama weakened politically and potentially constrained as a president.
Obama put the best spin possible on the deal when he announced it in the White House briefing room. But there’s little good news for him and his party in what’s immediately known about the framework of the compromise.
But right now it’s hard to see many victories the president can show to his party in this deal. He didn’t get the “clean” increase he once demanded. He didn’t get the “balance” (revenue increases) he demanded, though he insisted that taxes remain very much a part of the second phase of the bargain.

YES! says Steve Benen:

Right now, my sense is most of the rage on the left is being directed at President Obama for, to use John’s frame, resolving the hostage crisis by meeting many of the criminals’ demands. And if you’re looking for me to defend the deal the White House agreed to, you’re going to be disappointed.
…. Obama’s mistake wasn’t about strength or ideology; it was underestimating at the outset what the GOP is capable of. The president thought if he were responsible, Republicans would be responsible. If he made concessions, they’d make concessions. If he persuaded the American mainstream, this would have some sort of effect on the process.

Ummmm astrologically, mercury goes into retrograde from August 2 to 26, 2011. Not looking good, so not looking good; take a deep breath Mia, take a deep breath, wait until December, hopefully IT’LL GET BETTER…!!

Update: From a reader RW at TPM:

Let me get this straight. The President kept revenues on the table, did not touch the sunset provisions in the Bush tax cuts, ensured that military cuts keep the GOP honest, protected Medicare by adding in only provider cuts in the trigger, made the reduction apparently enough to stave off a debt downgrade, got the debt ceiling raised, wounded Boehner by demonstrating to the world that he is controlled by the Tea Party caucus, took out the requirement that a BBA be passed and sent to the states and got the extension through 2012? What exactly is wrong with this deal?
The fact that there are cuts? If people don’t like that, why in God’s name didn’t they turn out to vote and bring back our Congressional majority? Once these nut jobs were in there, it was inevitable that this crap was going to happen. Whether or not it is advisable to cut spending, what exactly was going to stop this from happening? My experience is that the primary factor in all negotiations are the facts on the ground. The complaints center on a ridiculous notion that if the President had only said “no” harder, that these guys would have caved in. This isn’t negotiating over who gets the side of the bed near the A/C. This is a complex matter involving 3,000 members and staffers. Negotiations in these situations don’t work like this. That’s why I’m irked by the constant parade of people comparing the negotiations to movies and card games. These comparisons obscure more than they reveal.
The GOP came out of this looking unreasonable–I’ve been getting E-mail messages from friends saying they are back with the Democrats because the Tea Party is “destroying this country.” Nate Silver tweeted last week that local conservative talk radio in Kansas was filled with callers attacking the Tea Party! The Wall Street Journal ran two editorials which called the GOP delusional and “childish.” The vaunted GOP message discipline broke down–I read stories all over the “inside baseball” papers here in DC where GOP House members went on the record after the Friday vote wondering out loud if the party had been damaged! I don’t know if you noticed, but John Boehner spent last week negotiating with himself. No new proposals came out from the Dem side, but he produced two proposals, one of which he had to pull after he didn’t have votes. A congressional Dem staffer told me his dad, an urban Catholic who voted for Nixon over Kennedy and has always voted Republican suddenly thinks the GOP is out to lunch and supports the President.

Hey, we all hate the pain, but this is an ongoing process. They are going to try this again with a government shutdown. When that happens, I’m pretty sure that the country will be resoundingly against a repeat of these types of hijinks.

Also, too, John Cole’s tweet:

Curious about people claiming Obama didn’t win negotiations. You don’t “win” a hostage crisis. You resolve it.

I’m feeling better already. Can’t wait for December 2011, when Obama negotiated tax extensions will expire. Got to see who and how much of a kick-ass will materialize then.

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