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« Curing Krugman's agony | Main | The GOP: determined to elevate Obama to the very highest status »

December 19, 2012


Robert Lipscomb

In boxing terms, Obama simply does not have a killer instinct. This is a heavyweight fight. He can't win on points. When you have the other guy on the ropes, you have to put him away.

The current GOP is NOT a a legitimate party because it does NOT see any other party as being legitimate. They have but one end in sight, eradication of every political party or thought but their own. In a democratic republic, any such party must be obliterated.

I realize that my statement seems to make me what I hate, but I am not. Shhot a gun weilding mass murder does not make one a murder. Obliterating a party that is dedicated to obliterating all other parties is not undemocratic.

In this case, obliteration means decapitation of the the party leaders who sell their cutthroat agenda, not elimination of the party, per se.

Obama has a chance to do this.

I doubt that he will.

Peter G

Two things. The 2011 debt ceiling debacle resulted in about 300 billion or so of beautifully stimulatory spending (nothing better at that then unemployment insurance payments) against about 100 billion of foregone taxes by the wealthy. The debt ceiling debate is only a loss if you really believe deficit control in the middle of a bad economy is a good thing. I'll take a negotiating loss like that any day.
The second thing is something that puzzles me. How is it possible to not notice that the Republicans control the House? Regardless of what their final negotiating position might be the administration still has to negotiate. Maybe you are right and it is time for Ragnarok. It is likely unavoidable. I doubt Boehner can round up the votes to pass anything. They will have the votes to pass middle class tax cuts in the session and anything that happens prior to that merely political gamesmanship.


This is all smoke and mirrors. Either a deal won't get enough votes in the House because of right-wing intransigence or it will be filibustered in the Senate by someone on the left. The "negotiations" are full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. We'll go over the cliff, and then, when nothing much happen, they'll come up with a deal that kicks the can down the road.


I just don't see why Obama would make these headline concessions so far out from the so-called cliff deadline. Boehner was covered in flop sweat and knew he had a losing hand. As that gargoyle James Carville (or was it Begala?) might say, "throw the sumbitch and anchor!" I know Obama's instinct is to look for common ground, but he should know the drill by now. The GOP sees willingness to compromise as weakness. If compromises must be made, force them to wring them out of you at the 11th hour; don't give it to them now. They'll just bite your hand and as for the rest of the loaf.


See Chait's latest:

Peter G

Well Turgidson, I would say that the illusion of negotiating, which must be maintained at all times, requires a certain finesse. You have to be careful not to make a concession you don't want to make unless you are certain it is going to be rejected. Else you might, like McConnell, wind up filibustering your own proposal. Since Boehner has signaled that there is pretty much nothing that he can pass with the caucus at his disposal, the Obama administration is now free to float all sorts of bipartisan appearing, sacrificial progressive base harrowing proposals with very little chance of getting McConnelled. None at all really. On the plus side it is fun to watch the progressive community invigorate themselves and launch writing and telephone campaigns to stop the fixed firmament from falling. I, for one, am enjoying the show.

Robert Lipscomb

I don't trust Obama in these negotiations. he simply does not comprhend the depth of the GOP's contempt for him.

Peter G

Oh I think he has a pretty good grasp of that by now Robert. Even better, I think he knows his own party and how to scare them out of apathy.


OMG! Really?! WE all get how terrible the GOP is but Obama doesn't? Uhm, no.

Couldn't possibly be that Obama knows that GOP won't make a deal. He puts forth what looks like a sincere effort to meet Repubs half way, Republicans still don't budge, we go over a cliff and GOP gets the blame.

Hey he may be sincere in wanting to negotiate but sorry, its just absurd to think that he doesn't see the GOP for what they are.


I'm with you, Alli, and all the hyperventilating on the left doesn't do much other than make the President look like the reasonable adult surrounded by squabbling intransigents on both sides -- which, come to think of it, no doubt is one factor among the many driving his current actions.

Further to that point, check out the transcript of today's press conference when the questions turn to the fiscal cliff, and let the leftsided doomsayers tell me again how the President just doesn't understand how to play the game against the GOP:

Robert Lipscomb

I accept all the counter arguments with good humor, but I have seen this act before.

Obama strike me more of an abused person who continually looks for some way to make themself more acceptable to the abuser, thinking, "this time I will be so good that he won't get mad and beat the hell out of me." Then he gets the hell beat out of him.

These guys are bullies. There is only one way to deal with bullies. Attack and fight like hell. That is not the Obama way. Romney might not have won the election, but he beat the hell out Obama during the debates. That is why voters viewed Obama as the stronger leader by 2:1 - even as they voted for Obama.


I think that Obama knows exactly what he's up against. Just look at today's press conference where he portrays himself as the "compromiser" and the GOPers as intrenched idiologs. How will that "play" in Peoria?


Robert, come off the ledge.

I'm not sure what debates you were watching, but most people agreed that Obama won the last two debates.

Obama is currently in his position of leverage precisely because of what happened in 2010 and 2011.

"Romney might not have won the election"... Really?

Ask President Hillary Clinton or President John McCain what their negotiating position is.

[Obama is like an abused person]? Do we really have to go there?

Listen to Peter G. He knows what time it is.


Just an observation. I find it interesting that this post has attracted more comments than any other here for a long, long time. This subject really arouses the passions.

Robert Lipscomb

I promise I am not on a ledge.

Most people thought Obama was ahead on points in the last two debates - barely. Most people thought Romney's policies sucked. but Romney was just as rude in the final two bebates as the first. Granted, Obama was much less of a wussy in the final two, but Romney was the alpha male - thus the polling on leadership.

Therefore, the GOP continues to believe they can push Obama around. They will continue to believe this until he punches them in the mouth. Look at the recent Rice disaster.

Peter G

I have a lot of respect for your opinion Robert. It is always informed and reasoned. I just happen to disagree on this occasion. I won't comment on the debate appearances for that is very much a matter of expectation and perception. You may very well be right and I completely wrong but only time will tell.


I would like to point something out from the POV of being a Black American living in a country run by white men. The President, as have many others, has always known how evil some people can be. Anyone who says he's unaware of the republicans' hatred of him and their unwillingness to work with him, has forgotten that as one who has always had to deal with people like the republicans, there is no way that President Obama doesn't know how the republicans feel about him. He has much experience in dealing with those who object to his very existence. One doesn't grow up in an environment like this and not know that almost everything one attempts will be opposed by those who have no objection to you other than the fact that you don't fit into their pre-conceived mold of where "those" people belong. That he continues to be kind to them doesn't mean that he doesn't know he's trying to work with a pit full of snakes. It only means that he has decided not to stoop to their level. As a kid growing up under segregation in 1950s America, I recall the times my parents said the same thing to us kids. It is not a sign of weakness to treat those who oppose you like human beings, and it doesn't mean that you won't fight hard for the things you believe in.

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