“White House Gives In On Bush Tax Cuts.” (Via TalkLeft.) But, I guess this is what we get because Democrats fell for a marketing campaign instead of someone with a resume and forty years of experience. Top White House adviser David Axelrod:
“We don’t want that tax increase to go forward for the middle class,” he said, which means the administration will have to accept them all for some unspecified period of time. “But plainly, what we can’t do is permanently extend these high income taxes.”
In other words, the White House won’t risk being blamed for raising taxes on the middle class even though, arguably, it is the GOP’s refusal to separate the categories that has put Obama in this bind. The only condition, at least initially, seems to be that the tax cuts for the wealthy not be extended “permanently.”
A student of history and a onetime political reporter, Axelrod expressed curiosity and even some optimism about the tea party, suggesting that Obama could work with them on matters such as a ban on spending earmarks and on winding down the war in Afghanistan.
If so, Obama would turn the Clinton-era triangulation strategy on its head, reaching out not to the moderates in the other party but to the new breed of conservatives who could bring the ideological arc of Congress full circle.
Letting tax cuts expire is now–in the mouth of an alleged Democrat–a “tax increase” or instituting “high income taxes?” As Big Tent Democrat said, “This is, of course, insane. The Obama White House seems to have lost its mind. At this rate, unless the GOP nominates Palin, Obama may very well be a one term President.”
Remember around the time of George W. Bush’s re-election in 2004 when a White House aid was quoted as mocking the “reality-based community,” This aide then claimed that “‘[w]e’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.” Remember how those of us in the “reality-based community” laughed and laughed and laughed at the fatuousness, the insularity, and the “Mission Accomplished”-style bad historical judgment that would be (and was) proved hubris? Well, the joke’s on us now because of a lot of us voted for the Democratic Klown Kollege that’s now against taxing the rich and saying “Let Them Eat Cat Food.”
By the way, the quotation in the headline comes from a shockingly dumb column in The Nation written by Eric Alterman in the spring of 2008 called “Good Night and Good Luck,” in which the author stamped his tiny little feet about the fact that Hillary Clinton hadn’t quit her Primary campaign and–damn her!–continued to rack up big wins through the spring. In that column, Alterman also accused the Clinton campaign of relying on “right-wing talking points,” said that Bill Clinton’s campaigning for his wife targeted “not the corporate elite but a liberal black man raised, like himself, by a lower-middle-class single mother,” and claimed despite everything the horrible Clintons said and did, Obama now “stands poised–God willing–to become America’s most progressive President in more than half a century.”
Yes, I know Alterman has changed his tune since then, although I think it’s strange that he now claims that a “progressive Presidency is impossible, for now,” simply because his hero of 2008 turned out not to be everything that Alterman projected. (Eric Alterman too, like Axelrod, is a “student of history,” don’t’cha know. I know it’s terribly unbecoming in a woman to point out that she was right when so very many were wrong, but I just can’t help doing my little “Superior Dance” at the poor historical judgment and perspective of others who were beating the drums of WWTSBQ back in 2008.)
Say it with me know: how has that worked out for us? (I mean, those of us making much less than $250,000 a year, that is.)