CNN is reporting that House Democrats have attempted to kill his tax compromise with Republicans by refusing to bring it up in its current form. Democrat Chris van Hollen of Maryland is quoted as saying, “”This message today is very simple: That in the form that it was negotiated, it is not acceptable to the House Democratic caucus. It’s as simple as that.”
Remember how one of the purposes of this deal was to increase business confidence by providing stability? Well, all those small businessmen just started reaching for their Dramamine again. Welcome to a future where inept parliamentary maneuvers, blind ideological madness, and political egos can make it literally impossible to plan your growth and hiring decisions for next year.
A Democrat source told CNN the deal was a “breathtaking” case of mishandling the Democrat caucus by the White House. No matter your opinion of the President’s proposal, you have to admit the source has a point. It doesn’t look as if Obama invested any effort in preparing the Democrats for this deal. He just announced it and figured they would fall into line. Was this another case of Obama believing his own delusional press image as a “messiah”… or something more calculated?
It’s much easier for an unpopular President to “triangulate” when his own caucus becomes utterly appalling to the independent American voter. Obama’s instincts are radical, but the 2010 elections showed him that a further leftward course would take him right off the edge of the electoral map. The easiest way to scramble back to “the center” is to nurse the voters’ already heated distaste for the Democrat Party into an inferno.
The Democrats are out of their minds if they think they can win a P.R. battle over soaring middle-class tax rates, poisoning an already sickly economy, against both the Republicans who soundly defeated them in 2010 and a President they’ve been selling as the next step in human evolution. If the American people trusted the House Democrat caucus to watch out for their best interests, they wouldn’t have run screaming from it during the midterm elections. Large portions of that already grim 2012 Democrat electoral map are fading to black.
I don’t think the triangulation attempt is going to work out for Obama, either. Far too much press, of the “water cooler talk” variety, was generated by his petulant performance at the infamous press conference earlier this week. He didn’t come off looking like a wise leader floating above the petty squabbles of partisanship. He looked like a furious teenager screaming at his parents that he’ll report them to Child Protective Services if they dare to ground him.
This is a declaration of war between the center-Left and the radical fringe. The worst outcome for the Left would be for a sizable number of those “centrist liberals” to conclude they’re not really liberals any more. This is the kind of event that will do it: the ugly spectacle of blind, doctrinaire hunger to raise taxes on class enemies, so powerful that House liberals are willing to sacrifice the Sainted Middle Class to feed it. For independent middle-class voters, the choice offered by the Democrat Party is between socialist ideology and their livelihoods. That was always the choice, but when it becomes impossible to ignore, the tectonic plates of politics begin to shift.
I think Obama understood the stakes, which is why he was so frazzled and bitter during that press conference. He’s going to discover his Democrat captors are much less gentle than the Republicans who were “holding him hostage.”