On the President’s concessions on the Bush tax cuts:
Although his liberal supporters are furious about the decision, President Obama’s willingness to extend all of the George W. Bush-era tax cuts is part of what White House officials say is a deliberate strategy: to demonstrate his ability to compromise with Republicans and portray the president as the last reasonable man in a sharply partisan Washington.
The move is based on a political calculation, drawn from his party’s midterm defeat, that places a premium on winning back independent voters.
The strategy emerged from hours of post-election meetings among senior administration officials who, after poring over returns, exit polls and midterm history, have determined that the loss of independent voters who supported Democrats in 2008 cost the party dozens of races this year. That conclusion places Obama at odds with many liberal Democrats, who say the midterm losses were the result in part of a political base dispirited by the president’s penchant for compromise.
Faced with unified GOP opposition, Obama didn’t get what he really wanted: the end of Bush tax cuts on household income of more than $250,000 and continuation of the rest.
Instead, he went along with emboldened Republicans to extend even the top-tier cuts for two years in exchange for unemployment insurance and other measures intended to boost the economy.
In doing so, Obama is trying to make the best of a bad situation. Administration officials now say that restoring the president’s image as a post-partisan leader is more important for the next two years of his term and for his reelection effort.
Liberals, though, are absolutely furious. Democrats in Congress are trying to repudiate the agreement.
I give President Obama credit, though. If he governs to the center, I’ll support that!