Obama bends. Again.

August 1, 2011

I’m sick of hearing how President Obama made the tough choices, fought the tough battle, embraced the tough challenge.

David Plouffe and David Axelrod and the VP can use the word “tough” all they want when talking about what just happened but, like I tell my students: Show, don’t tell.

You can say your character’s tough as nails but if all he does is bend, the reader – i.e. voter – will only remember the bending.

And, man, did Obama bend.

Sure, we can blame the GOP, the crazy Tea Party wingnuts, the absolutely dangerous Grover Nordquist and his no-taxes-ever pledge.

But let’s not kid ourselves: Obama f*cked this one up time and again. Remember how he talked non-stop about a balanced compromise that had to include sacrifices on both sides, how new revenues were non-negotiable?

Sigh …

So far the Republicans have forced Obama’s hand during the threat of a government shutdown last year, screwed him (and us) on the 2012 budget (and convinced him that extending tax cuts for the rich was, in Axelrod’s words, “playing the hand we were given”) and now this.

How bad is this deal? Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, called it “a sugar coated Satan sandwich.”

Whoa!

For God’s sake, less than a week ago Obama had House Speaker John Boehner agreeing to raise $800 million in revenue.

What in heaven’s name is so tough about screwing that up?