Compromise, Not Capitulation Mr. President

December 2nd, 2010

Here’s Joe Scarborough from a couple of days ago.

This is a long discussion (fast forward to 6:45 if you don’t have a spare 20 minutes, or 11:45 if you have less time).

Scarborough talks about how there is a lot of revisionist history with regards to Bill Clinton. While it’s true that he tacked to the middle after his defeat in 1994, Scarborough points out that Clinton ”beat the hell out of us for a year” before he compromised and that Clinton would have hung the Republicans current position on taxes and unemployment benefits around their necks and only then cut a deal with them.

I’m not one of these people on the left that thinks extending Bush tax cuts for the rich for two years (insuring that any additional extension will be vetoed by Obama) is a great betrayal of principles, but I do think the president needs to take the opportunity to draw a clear distinction on this issue.

The Republicans are planning on filibustering an extention of middle class tax breaks so that they can preserve tax breaks for the top 2%. In the House today, 168 Republicans refused to vote for an extention of tax cuts for 100% of Americans on the first $250,000 they make next year because they couldn’t get tax cuts for the 2% of people who make over $250,000. At a time when there are five job seekers for every one job opening, the Republicans are refusing to extend unemployment benefits for 2 million people unless the benefits are “paid for.” At the same time, they are refusing to allow any other votes until they get tax cuts for the top 2% that will add $700 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years (the same deficit they’ve been complaining about non-stop for two years).

I’m fine with an eventual compromise (even a quick compromise). I just want the president to take the opportunity to let the Republicans show how out of touch with the American people their priorities truly are, just as they insist that their month old victory shows how much  Americans agree with them.

Take a lesson from President Clinton, Mr. President. He might have compromised with the Republicans after 1994, but he would never have let an opportunity like this pass him by.

Tags: , , , ,

Comments are closed.