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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Politics is the art of the possible

Congressional Democrats and many of my liberal compatriots are up in arms over the deal Barack Obama appears to have struck to extend both tax cuts for the rich and unemployment benefits.

My question, particularly for elected Democrats, is: why did you wait this long for a vote?

The capitulation was preordained, particularly especially after House and Senate leaders opted to wait until a lame duck session to vote, a session they knew wold like come after a bad election loss.

But even worse than this capitulation was the one that took place in allowing the deep cuts to become law in the first place.

I'm not cheering Republicans who have used the long-term unemployed to win riches for their pals on Wall Street. And the depth of their crass cynicism knows no bounds.

But I also have no huzzahs for my liberal friends. What's the alternative -- shut down government and hurt everyone, not just the unemployed hostages being held by Mitch McConnell and John Boehner?

Are visions of the 1995 shutdown dancing in your heads? If so, you forget history.

It was the Newt Gingrich and his band of crusaders who melted down because of their overly aggressive tactics. It's a fair bet the same scenario is building now in the bowels of the Republican caucus, with the same likely outcome.

Yes, the tax cut extension for Wall Street is hideous. But so is the manipulation of the unemployed by the alleged fiscal conservatives.

Democrats were mute about their signal accomplishments in the stimulus and health care and financial reform, time when they should have stood up and shouted. They were weak in the face of the bogus GOP assault on death panels and Fannie and Freddie.

The time to have developed a backbone has passed. It's time to allow the GOP to self-immolate.

But don't use the unemployed as hostages either.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Joel Patterson said...

Republicans will not overplay their hand this time.

How can you overplay a pair of 3's when the other side never, never calls?

December 07, 2010 5:39 AM  

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