The Hidden Cost of Capitulation

Now that the president has signaled yet another collapse in agreeing to tax cuts for the rich, there is a hidden cost to this capitulation. He is now stuck defending this deal for the rest of his term. I predicted this on the show yesterday and today it's playing out exactly the way I imagined, with the president sending out advisers to talk about what a great idea it is to give tax cuts to the rich.

Once you sign off on a political position, you own it. This could be a corollary to Colin Powell's doctrine on foreign policy. Powell said if you break it, you own it. In this case, if you make it, you own it.

The president claims he will fight hard against these same tax cuts two years from now. It's hard to stop laughing long enough to make a point against that, but I will try. If you are sending out your people to talk up polls about how the right the Republicans were on the tax cuts for the rich now, how are you going to send out the same people to talk about how wrong they were - and how wrong you were - two years from now?

These are the things that make me wonder if President Obama has a firm grasp on basic political fundamentals. Yesterday he said that the political reality is that he just didn't have the votes in the Senate (by far his favorite excuse). He even said "I can't win" in the Senate. That's a damning reversal for a man who ran on "Yes we can."

But more importantly, he doesn't seem to understand Politics 101. You don't just count the votes based on how the other side says they're going to vote. From time to time, you call their bluff. Which means you go to the home states of swing senators like Scott Brown in Massachusetts and Olympia Snowe in Maine and you campaign on this winning issue there until you make them feel the political pain. Then you put them to a decision -- do you want to risk your career voting against me on this issue where I have huge popular support or do you want to vote with me? Then you take the vote and they will bend. If he doesn't understand that, boy did we elect the wrong guy.

Of course, the alternative is that he does understand that but doesn't ever have the stomach for a real fight. Or even worse yet, secretly likes this deal and will always find an excuse to get more tax cuts and sweet deals for the rich and powerful. In which case, boy did we elect the wrong guy.

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The Hidden Cost of Capitulation

Now that the president has signaled yet another collapse in agreeing to tax cuts for the rich, there is a hidden cost to this capitulation. He is now stuck defending this deal for the rest of his term. I predicted this on the show yesterday and today it's playing out exactly the way I imagined, with the president sending out advisers to talk about what a great idea it is to give tax cuts to the rich.

Once you sign off on a political position, you own it. This could be a corollary to Colin Powell's doctrine on foreign policy. Powell said if you break it, you own it. In this case, if you make it, you own it.

The president claims he will fight hard against these same tax cuts two years from now. It's hard to stop laughing long enough to make a point against that, but I will try. If you are sending out your people to talk up polls about how the right the Republicans were on the tax cuts for the rich now, how are you going to send out the same people to talk about how wrong they were - and how wrong you were - two years from now?

These are the things that make me wonder if President Obama has a firm grasp on basic political fundamentals. Yesterday he said that the political reality is that he just didn't have the votes in the Senate (by far his favorite excuse). He even said "I can't win" in the Senate. That's a damning reversal for a man who ran on "Yes we can."

But more importantly, he doesn't seem to understand Politics 101. You don't just count the votes based on how the other side says they're going to vote. From time to time, you call their bluff. Which means you go to the home states of swing senators like Scott Brown in Massachusetts and Olympia Snowe in Maine and you campaign on this winning issue there until you make them feel the political pain. Then you put them to a decision -- do you want to risk your career voting against me on this issue where I have huge popular support or do you want to vote with me? Then you take the vote and they will bend. If he doesn't understand that, boy did we elect the wrong guy.

Of course, the alternative is that he does understand that but doesn't ever have the stomach for a real fight. Or even worse yet, secretly likes this deal and will always find an excuse to get more tax cuts and sweet deals for the rich and powerful. In which case, boy did we elect the wrong guy.

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Tax Cuts: why are average Americans so "blind?"

While I will always believe that the legacy of the Bush Administration has truly destroyed American democracy through their addition of far right-wing Supreme Court Justices Roberts and Alito. Moreover, their right-wing jilted Citizens' United decision has allowed -- and will continue to allow -- far more Republicans to have gained offices in November's past election than should have gained office.

Notwithstanding, it continues to "boggle my mind" how the average American continues to be blind to the Republican Party's consistent neglect and contempt of their needs on the Congress floor in exchange for always voting in favor of the wealthy. This was evident this past summer when ever Republican senator voted against extending unemployment benefits for the hard-working American who lost their job(Olympia Snow may have been the lone exception).

Yes, I would have loved to see tax breaks die for the wealthiest Americans, but I realize the Republican Party ALWAYS chooses party over country, and it may have not been possible.

What would have been really, really nice during Obama's first year in office when he had both Senate (non-filibuster) and House majorities was for him to have brought back the Fairness Doctrine for media. He could have shut-up those big mouths at Fox News and AM radio for good. I really don't know why he didn't do it.

 

 

Is Barack Obama Stupid?

New CBS News poll out confirms every other poll we've seen on the topic - the American people are solidly against tax cuts for the rich.

53% of respondents said there should only be tax cuts for the middle class and no tax cuts for people making over $250,000. That's the number most people in the media are using, but that's not quite accurate. Another 14% said they don't want tax cuts for anybody, including the top bracket. So, the reality is that an overwhelming 67% of the country don't want tax cuts for the rich (including 52% of Republican voters!). Only 26% said that everyone should get a tax cut, including the rich.

So, let's do the math for people who are a little slow. That's 67% to 26%. That's a crushing 41% lead. If it was an election, that margin would be so large they would think it was rigged. The group that doesn't want tax cuts for the rich is more than two and half times the group that does.

If that weren't enough, there is an internal memo being sent around to Democrats on the Hill by Anzalone Liszt Research that shows that 77% of Americans would let the Bush tax cuts for the rich expire if the extra money went toward helping small businesses and balancing the budget. 77%!!!

Now, as a politician, how stupid do you have to be on the other side of this issue?

But that's not entirely fair because the Republicans have built their entire party on being on the other side of this issue and they're doing well. Why? Because they get handsomely compensated by those same millionaires and billionaires who benefit from the tax cuts. They use the money they collect from those guys into deceiving the American people into voting for them during the elections. That sucks for the rest of us, but at least that makes sense. There is a logical reason for them to take the more unpopular side of this equation.

Democrats on the other hand just got their ass kicked by that money spent to make sure they lose. Now, they would like to do a favor for the people who just killed them in the election and in the meanwhile take a position that 67% to 77% of the American people are against. How stupid do you have to be to do that?

That is the position of the Obama administration right now as they argue for a "compromise" where they extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich for another two years. Even Pat Buchanan laughed on-air and said that's no compromise at all. That's complete victory for the GOP. Remember, in two years there will be a new president - and if it's a Republican, the tax cuts will be extended forever. Complete and utter victory for one side. Complete and utter capitulation for the other side. Pathetic.

Of course, there are two other explanations for the actions of Obama White House. The first one is that they're not dumb, they are embarrassingly weak. They know they should side with 67% of the American people, they know they shouldn't help the people who crushed them in the last election, they know they are showing no leadership by constantly cratering to the other side, but they can't help themselves. It is in Obama's nature to always compromise, no matter what the situation is. He hates to fight. He is No Drama Obama. He will do anything to avoid a confrontation, including giving the other side exactly what they want in the guise of a sage and tempered compromise.

The last possible explanation is the worst of all. He is complicit. He is among the top 2%. So is nearly everyone he knows. Everyone in his bubble is rich, fabulously rich. So, all of the people he knows thinks it's a brilliant idea to give more tax cuts to the rich, namely them. Plus, most of the Democrats also get campaign donations from the millionaires and billionaires. Though it's self-destructive in the long run because those guys will always give more to the Republicans, they can't wean themselves off of that money. So, they go along with whatever their rich funders want.

All three options are sickening. But there is no fourth option. No one in their right mind can possibly think that opposing at least 67% of the American people to help the political opposition is a good political idea.

And one last note, when President Obama agrees to this and they add another $140 billion dollars to the deficit over the next two years because of these tax cuts for the rich, who do you think the Republicans will blame for that deficit? You guessed it, the man who just gave them everything they wanted -- Barack Obama.

Come on, how stupid do you have to be? Or at least, I hope they're just stupid and not the other options.

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Is Barack Obama Stupid?

New CBS News poll out confirms every other poll we've seen on the topic - the American people are solidly against tax cuts for the rich.

53% of respondents said there should only be tax cuts for the middle class and no tax cuts for people making over $250,000. That's the number most people in the media are using, but that's not quite accurate. Another 14% said they don't want tax cuts for anybody, including the top bracket. So, the reality is that an overwhelming 67% of the country don't want tax cuts for the rich (including 52% of Republican voters!). Only 26% said that everyone should get a tax cut, including the rich.

So, let's do the math for people who are a little slow. That's 67% to 26%. That's a crushing 41% lead. If it was an election, that margin would be so large they would think it was rigged. The group that doesn't want tax cuts for the rich is more than two and half times the group that does.

If that weren't enough, there is an internal memo being sent around to Democrats on the Hill by Anzalone Liszt Research that shows that 77% of Americans would let the Bush tax cuts for the rich expire if the extra money went toward helping small businesses and balancing the budget. 77%!!!

Now, as a politician, how stupid do you have to be on the other side of this issue?

But that's not entirely fair because the Republicans have built their entire party on being on the other side of this issue and they're doing well. Why? Because they get handsomely compensated by those same millionaires and billionaires who benefit from the tax cuts. They use the money they collect from those guys into deceiving the American people into voting for them during the elections. That sucks for the rest of us, but at least that makes sense. There is a logical reason for them to take the more unpopular side of this equation.

Democrats on the other hand just got their ass kicked by that money spent to make sure they lose. Now, they would like to do a favor for the people who just killed them in the election and in the meanwhile take a position that 67% to 77% of the American people are against. How stupid do you have to be to do that?

That is the position of the Obama administration right now as they argue for a "compromise" where they extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich for another two years. Even Pat Buchanan laughed on-air and said that's no compromise at all. That's complete victory for the GOP. Remember, in two years there will be a new president - and if it's a Republican, the tax cuts will be extended forever. Complete and utter victory for one side. Complete and utter capitulation for the other side. Pathetic.

Of course, there are two other explanations for the actions of Obama White House. The first one is that they're not dumb, they are embarrassingly weak. They know they should side with 67% of the American people, they know they shouldn't help the people who crushed them in the last election, they know they are showing no leadership by constantly cratering to the other side, but they can't help themselves. It is in Obama's nature to always compromise, no matter what the situation is. He hates to fight. He is No Drama Obama. He will do anything to avoid a confrontation, including giving the other side exactly what they want in the guise of a sage and tempered compromise.

The last possible explanation is the worst of all. He is complicit. He is among the top 2%. So is nearly everyone he knows. Everyone in his bubble is rich, fabulously rich. So, all of the people he knows thinks it's a brilliant idea to give more tax cuts to the rich, namely them. Plus, most of the Democrats also get campaign donations from the millionaires and billionaires. Though it's self-destructive in the long run because those guys will always give more to the Republicans, they can't wean themselves off of that money. So, they go along with whatever their rich funders want.

All three options are sickening. But there is no fourth option. No one in their right mind can possibly think that opposing at least 67% of the American people to help the political opposition is a good political idea.

And one last note, when President Obama agrees to this and they add another $140 billion dollars to the deficit over the next two years because of these tax cuts for the rich, who do you think the Republicans will blame for that deficit? You guessed it, the man who just gave them everything they wanted -- Barack Obama.

Come on, how stupid do you have to be? Or at least, I hope they're just stupid and not the other options.

Watch The Young Turks Here

Follow Cenk Uygur on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TheYoungTurks
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