Here's where I differ with Krugman & Friends:
[G]iven [Obama's] evident antsiness to cut a deal in this case, how credible is his promise to hang tough over the debt ceiling, which is a much brighter red line? He may say that he absolutely, positively won’t negotiate over the ceiling — but nothing in his past behavior makes that believable.
For many progressives there's an unwarranted conflation of Obama's first and upcoming second term, whereas Now, to my way of thinking, begins an entirely new era. Obama's "antsiness" to cut what many regarded as questionable deals in the past was invariably endowed by a cautious, rational, pragmatic motivation. I never faulted him, for example, for shaving the stimulus, or maintaining the private health-insurance aspect of ObamaCare, or, in late 2010, extending the Bush tax cuts. All, to my mind, were not only perfectly reasonable but perfectly advisable compromises for a first-term presidency--notwithstanding the left's angry howls.
The cliff deal, however, marked a new era, one in which the president owned more political capital then he ever had before, or ever will have again. And in view of that, this deal was a bad start. As Krugman notes: Obama "gave every indication of being more or less desperate to cut a deal before the year ended — even though going over the fiscal cliff was not at all a drop-dead moment, since we could have gone weeks or months without much real economic damage."
And bad starts make me nervous--especially, bad starts in a president's fifth year, against the same, familiar foe.