Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Yes, Mr. President, there is a Santa Claus, but he’s not Mitch McConnell and he didn’t come early this year. The concessions McConnell gave you were not concessions at all but what he wanted. The Senate Majority leader and the Republicans want three things, tax cuts, tax cuts and more tax cuts. Only the extension of unemployment insurance (which at thirteen months I admit is a major achievement but does not help two million people who have been laid off for ninety-nine weeks) is a concession, all the others are tax cuts. True, all except those to the rich will stimulate the economy but the republicans, in their monomaniacal  pursuit of tax cuts, don’t care if they do some good.  They know, as many of us know that since they are not new they will not increase the economy faster than the slow pace it is increasing now. They are less a stimulus package than an antirecession one. 
Mr. President you are under siege. Even before you were sworn in the Republicans decided never to let you succeed at anything. You have said so yourself. They reject their own ideas if you agree to them. Senator McConnell has said his only priority is to make sure you will be a one term president. Make no mistake, if this means throwing millions  off health care by refusing to fund the Affordable Care Act, so be it. If it means allowing another financial meltdown, so be it. If it means killing the nuclear arms treaty Reagan would have been proud of, so be it. And if it means defaulting on our international loans we are forced to take to fund the tax cut for the rich, so be it. They have said this is their policy. You must believe them.
Yes, this is the public option debate all over again and yes maybe it never would have been passed but we will never know because you conceded even before the debate began. In a siege, the goal of the enemy is to gain access to the castle. I appreciate that you consider it the honorable thing to meet the Republicans halfway. But they have made themselves your enemy. You must meet them in the plain around the Castle to test their ability and resolve. If you meet them at the gate, halfway is in the castle. You concede too much ground too quickly. Stand and fight and If you must concede do so but make the Republicans concede something to you. That’s a compromise 


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