Republicans and The White House reached an important compromise yesterday, which included a two year extension of most of the 2002 income tax rate adjustments for individuals and businesses, and a 13 month extension of Federal unemployment benefits. Some conservatives were upset about the unemployment extension, which adds $130 billion in deficit spending and is generally seen as ineffective toward stimulating the economy. We can live with the unemployment extension however, and I think it's worth remembering, as Dana Perino pointed out on yesterday's Sean Hannity radio show, that if the Republicans had rejected the extension of unemployment insurance benefits, the news headline would have been "REPUBLICANS SCREW THE POOR!!!" instead of "White House, Republicans Reach Tax Deal."
But the best part of yesterday's deal had to be the petulant, almost unhinged reaction among Democrats, who apparently would be quite happy to force a major tax hike on all Americans, just so they can have the satisfaction of raising tax rates on families who make more than $250,000 a year. Both Reid and Pelosi refused to offer support for the deal. And hardcore liberal democrats are furious, claiming that Obama has abandoned his base and now risks losing re-election because ultra-liberals feel betrayed by him. I would say that a better explanation is that Obama probably understands the power of "we won" very well, and turnabout is fair play, especially in politics.
What makes this compromise most interesting is that we are still in a lame duck Congressional session. Democrats still have a majority of seats in both the House and the Senate. So when the President or other Democrats complain that they "don't have the votes" to pass their coveted tax hikes, they are talking about Democrat votes, not votes from Republicans. Fortunately congressional Democrats now care more about being re-elected than blindly following a progressive tax-and-spend ideology that is unpopular with a strong majority of the American people.
And poor Barack Hussein Obama. In another unfortunate unscripted moment, he temporarily lost his cool and referred to Republicans as hostage-takers -- "It's tempting not to negotiate with hostage takers, unless the hostage gets harmed, then people will question the wisdom of that strategy. In this case, the hostage was the American people."
I'll challenge anyone to find examples of such childish irritability from George W. Bush, in the wake of the Republicans' loss of their Congressional majority in 2006. Far from being a uniter and a savior, Barack Obama is continually being revealed as an immature, childish ideologue with little regard for anything outside of the progressive intellectual vision of an American socialist utopia.