Thursday, December 9, 2010

House Democrats Throw Down the Gauntlet

This can’t have been what the White House had in mind:
“Defying President Obama, House Democrats voted Thursday not to bring up the tax package that he negotiated with Republicans in its current form.

"‘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,’ said Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen.

"‘We will continue to try and work with the White House and our Republican colleagues to try and make sure we do something right for the economy and right for jobs, and a balanced package as we go forward,’ he said.

“The vote comes a day after Vice President Biden made clear to House Democrats behind closed doors that the deal would unravel if any changes were made.

"‘Wow did the [White House] mishandle this,’ a senior House Democratic Source told CNN. ‘Breathtaking. Members have major substantive concerns and they should have gently guided people to the finish line.’

“Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon said: ‘They said take it or leave it. We left it.’"
Yes, it's only a non-binding House resolution.  And I suppose you could argue that this won't hurt Obama all that much in the long run  because, in the mind of independents, it will distance him from his politically toxic liberal base, etc.  But come on. Why should anybody take a president seriously who needs to twist arms to get the very people who propelled him into office two short years ago behind a proposal on which he’s already staked his presidential prestige? Even if this is just a momentary tantrum on the part of the House Democratic caucus, it’s an astounding political disaster for Obama.


Lone Wolf said...

Every president needs a base among people who will support him without having their arms twisted while he's twisting other people's arms. What's Obama's base?

Dave said...

What on earth is going on with Washington Democrats? I find their approach to this whole tax mess to be utterly bewildering -- and I refer not just to their behavior over the past few days, but over the past several months. For them to still be so apparently aimless a mere 22 (!) days before the tax rates expire is shocking. And, frankly, irresponsible.

For a simple explanation of how avoidable this whole mess was, see "How the Left Could Have Won on Taxes":

(Of course, the Congress's failure to pass a budget resolution this past year is even more bewildering behavior. And, again, irresponsible.)