After President Obama’s press conference announcing a deal with Republicans on tax cuts, the left exploded with such ferocity and divisiveness that it’s no wonder conservatives always win. It’s sad to see the left demonize Obama as a sellout for making the best out of losing situation for the majority of Americans.
There is justification for the ire on the Left over the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy; but where is the elation that Obama got a 13 month extension for millions of unemployed Americans? With no super majority in the Senate, and Blue Dog Democrats in the House, there was little hope there would be any relief for the unemployed. It makes one wonder if the humanitarians on the left felt it was worth watching millions of Americans lose their homes to make a point. Some on the left repeated Republican HCR talking points with, “we are saddling our kids and grand-kids with debt.”
Every American receives a tax cut that will stimulate the economy, but that is lost in the outrage on the left. The deal affects every American, not just the whims of liberals who possibly don’t need tax relief. No one except Republicans and the wealthy wanted the rich tax cuts extended, but in order to help the majority of Americans, the president made a very tough decision.
The deal Obama reached with Republicans is not perfect, but in this political climate he had little choice but to help the most Americans. The left ignores that out of the $3.7 Trillion dollar tax cut deal, only $130 Billion goes for the wealthy tax cuts. The deal includes several Progressive tax cuts and this agreement is a back door stimulus package the country needs. For all the liberal talk that Obama sold out his base, there is no satisfaction that the tax cuts for 98% of Americans will go back into the economy; Obama didn’t sell out America.
Every American has a pet policy issue they feel is more important than any others, and it is perfectly natural. Those on the left feel their signature issues should take precedence over the good of the majority, but they forget that America is more than just right and left. A great majority of Americans are in the center, and Obama recognizes that he is President for all Americans; not just liberals and progressives. During President Obama’s victory speech in 2008, he plainly stated that he was president to all Americans whether they supported him or not.
The pundits on the left have gone super-critical in their pomposity about Obama selling out his base and losing his support, and the talking heads on MSNBC lead the list of elitists. A respected journalist said today that Keith Olbermann is MSNBC’s Glenn Beck, and there is more than a kernel of truth to that description. Olbermann’s 12 minute rant against the tax deal was condescending, and the pompous tone makes one wonder if he is sincere or showing how “fair and balanced” they are at the network.
Instead of blaming the president for every problem dealing with Republicans, very few are blaming the Democrats who are fearful of the perpetual campaigning and election season that they failed to support the president when there was a majority in the House. In fact, although there were numbers to suggest a majority, the truth is, there were never 60 votes in the Senate. Republicans have an easy time filibustering and blocking every one of Democrat’s legislation but there wasn’t talk of filibuster reform until the time comes when Republicans have the majority and there’s no hope of reform.
If they can lose their arrogant, spoiled child attitudes for a minute, the left should take a lesson from the right. At least the Tea Party and Republicans know to unify for a common cause. The Left has no common cause. Perhaps if Democrats could count on a unified base, they may be more willing to fight harder for progressive issues, but as it is, there is such a fractured, me first attitude, that there is no unified platform. Health care reform was a monumental achievement, but many on the left still complain there wasn’t a public option. There would be no HCR if Democrats and Obama stuck with a public option.
Liberals and Progressives are supposed to care about Americans, but their whiny, Tea Party mentality belies their convictions. The tax deal President Obama made is not ideal; it’s not even good, unless you are unemployed and wonder where your children’s next meal is coming from, or how you’ll pay rent this month.
Conservatives are licking their chops watching the left cannibalize President Obama for governing from the center; it is short-sighted and arrogant to believe otherwise. According to a July 2010 Gallup Poll, 20% of Americans identified themselves as liberal, 42% were conservative, and 35% are centrists. President Obama still enjoys an 80% approval rating among Democrats, so the outrage coming from elite liberals like Olbermann and Maddow is misleading; they are defaming a Centrist President.
The left should beware making Olbermann their Glenn Beck, and should start looking at political realities. No one knows how the tax deal eventually plays out, but one thing is certain; millions of Americans will benefit from unemployment extensions, and every American will get a tax cut. Children will get school lunches and parents get credits worth $2,500 for their college students. Maybe it isn’t everything to everybody, but the deal has something for everyone; even the wealthy. That is what happens in politics and life. Sometimes you have to take the bad with the good, and in this deal, there is something good for a lot of Americans; even those on the left.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.