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Posted at 11:45 AM ET, 12/10/2010

Hostage taking by Nancy Pelosi

By Jennifer Rubin

The president, perhaps, should not have introduced "hostage" into the rhetoric surrounding the tax agreement. He intended to indict the Republicans, but his own liberal flank is now stepping forward to play the role of obstructionist and, yes, hostage-taker. The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes:

Their problem at the current moment is that House Democrats have nothing but ideological anger to bargain with. They may want Mr. Obama to demand more concessions from Republicans, and perhaps he will follow orders and try. But why should Republicans oblige?

Mr. Obama has already announced the deal at two White House events, defending it as the best he could get and in the interests of the country. If the deal now goes down and taxes go up on January 1, no one will think Republicans are to blame. Americans will rightly conclude that Mr. Obama is so incompetent he can't even deliver Members of his own party.

House Democrats have little bargaining leverage. After all, there is a Republican House majority arriving on the scene in a few weeks. Should House Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi actually manage to gum up the works, Republicans will surely label their opponents as the tax hikers and proceed to strike a new deal with the president. That's certainly a losing proposition for the Democrats. As the Journal editorial board argues, "Pelosi Democrats are really hostage fakers and will fold if their bluster is called."

The left has repeated the same error over the last week or so. The Democrats took votes on two alternatives to a full extension of the Bush tax cuts in the Senate, but proved they lacked the votes to block the Obama-McConnell deal. The left hollered at the president, but it lacks a viable alternative. In each instance, liberal lawmakers, in an attempt to score points with the base, have demonstrated their own impotence. At a time when they are still in the majority, they have in fact conveyed weakness and helped demonstrate the irrelevance of the left.

So Pelosi plays the obstructionist, but an ineffective one. Obama will try to recover the tax "fairness" argument, but he will be handicapped by the arguments he raised this week in defense of extending the Bush tax cuts. In sum, the Democrats have tied themselves up in knots, the Republicans are looking more reasonable every day, and the president is now fighting a two-front battle against the right and left. It's hard to imagine how things could have turned out any worse for the left.

By Jennifer Rubin  | December 10, 2010; 11:45 AM ET
Categories:  House Democrats, Taxes  
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Next: A mess of the Democrats' own making

Comments

I think the Krauthammer piece at NRO has shut the troops up. How do you all like this bill now?,Victory for Obama,LOL
BTW,like Krauthammer,I'm opposed to this bill. I's like to know Jennifer's opinion on Krauthammer's opinion.

Posted by: rcaruth | December 10, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I fully agree

at this point the House Democrats are looking like losers unable to stop losing for their own sake.

In two years they couldn't get the deal they wanted through Congress, so now they are just going to obstruct a pretty-good deal that will go through with flying colors if they would just shut up and go along with it.

Posted by: chucklebuck | December 10, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

This kind of rhetoric is not supposed to be coming from a party which promised Compromise and Bipartisanship in 2008.

What is worse, Obama and democrats attempted to portray every potential Compromise as a victory for their party - and a slippery-slope of defeat for the Republicans.


NOT exactly the way you get someone to agree with you, portraying their cooperation, not as a win-win in which everyone should SHARE the credit, but as a potential defeat which would lead to democratic victories for years to come.


The democrats sabotaged their own Compromises.


It really is astonishing the story of the past two years - the potential the democrats had IMPLODED - set by the democrats themselves and fueled by Obama's incompetence.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 10, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse


Gitmo

I think it is a great time for everyone to pull themselves out of their partisan-prisms on this issue - and re-examine the whole thing.

The Geneva accords govern enemy combatents. I think everyone agrees with that.

However, trying detainees Federal civilian courts may actually be much LESS consistent with the Geneva accords - because the Geneva accords specifically DISALLOW many criminal prosections to POWs.

Ironcially, military tribunals which have been tailored specifically to be in accordance with the Geneva Accords may in fact be the more "liberal" position.


In addition, the democrats have really not considered what Bush did in over 300 civilan trials after 9/11. To say that Bush's positions on these issues have been misrepresented is an understatement. Bush did have civilian trials.


What we have is candidate Obama - or pre-candidate Obama - searching for some reason to say "Bush is doing something wrong" - and seizing on the trial issue. The problems are apparent - the issue simply does not work out the way the liberals wanted it. Bush never did anything wrong. Everything has always been Constitutional.


The question actually becomes: What is the best policy for US national security ??

Which policy protects our "methods and operations" best ??? We need to protect our methods if we are going to continue to effectively fight terrorism, which has NOT diminished.

If at every trial, we give HINTS to the terrorists as to what we are doing to protect themselves, then eventually they can devise ways to get around what we are doing.

It is of the HIGHEST national security imperative that we keep our "methods and operations" as close to us and as quiet as possible.

Military tribunals do that. And I honestly believe that if the liberals re-examine all these issues from a fresh point-of-view, they will agree.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 10, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

ALL,

Obama's people are now trying to sell the tax Compromise on the basis of a bar graph - dividing the nation into "US AND THEM" - and trying to say that "We got more money than they did."


The chart above is a MARXIST ANALYSIS.


It is that simple. How much do the rich get, how much do the middle class get - how much do the poor get.

That is all A MARXIST INTERPRETATION OF HISTORY AND POLITICS.

Americans do NOT divide themselves this way - and it is a horrible view into how Obama views the world.


_________________________________

What is worse - it is a STATIC model.

It is not dynamic, it does NOT account for GROWTH.

Where is the JOBS CREATION ??? Obama is more concerned with a one-shot money infusion - rather than LONG TERM JOBS CREATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH.

Economic Growth is the way out of this recession.


From an economic point of view, this reasoning is FLAWED.


What this idea is a pathetic attempt to turn this Compromise into another stimulus - one that is flawed, and aimed only at helping Obama's re-election prospect, not based on sound economic policy.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 10, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

What this idea is a pathetic attempt to turn this Compromise into another stimulus - one that is flawed, and aimed only at helping Obama's re-election prospect, not based on sound economic policy.
Posted by: RainForestRising

In that case,we expect the Republicans to dig in their heels to stop this stimulous bill in its tracks. Right?

Posted by: rcaruth | December 10, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse


DIVIDING THE NATION


So, the Obama who was suppose to unite the nation - "we are not blue states, we are not red states, we are all together"


Chalk that speech up to ANOTHER OBAMA-FRAUD


Look at the chart about - US VS THEM


What did "we" get - What did "they get"


This is a DISGUSTING ATTEMPT TO DIVIDE AMERICA


____________________________


There are 5 different income tax brackets - and the lower 47% of Americans pay ZERO income tax


To portray that PROGRESSIVE INCOME TAX SYSTEM as "everyone against one bracket" is just wrong and stupid.

These are PROGRESSIVE polices to begin with - Obama has lost his mind.


Posted by: RainForestRising | December 10, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

A lot of conservatives think the Republicans in Congress got rolled/rolled over on this. It's not a propitious start, but it's also not a start, since the new majority is not yet in place. And it also is not quite over yet.

Posted by: adam62 | December 10, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

A lot of conservatives think the Republicans in Congress got rolled/rolled over on this. It's not a propitious start, but it's also not a start, since the new majority is not yet in place. And it also is not quite over yet.
Posted by: adam62
Adam,who do you think did the rolling on this? Those with the most to gain from this bill twisted the arms of the Republicans to do this now,or,no money for the 2012 election. But where is the clamor of the Tea Party against these new deficits. I hear nothing,maybe you're plugged in to their comments???

Posted by: rcaruth | December 10, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Democrats are attracted to losing policy like moths are attracted to light.

Posted by: postfan1 | December 10, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I see, so Henry Kissinger and George Bush I and the other statesmen with long histories with START know nothing? John McCain is trying his very best to toady up to the far right, who knows what he really thinks any more. And those of you crying foul because some Democrats don't want to do what is tantamount to giving in to yet more Republican bullying, seem to think that it's fine/good for Republicans to be obstructionist. For years they have exhibited the very definition of Soviet style negotiation--profoundly un-American behavior as anyone with an accurate knowledge of early American history will attest. Mitch McConnell clearly said no compromising and is only interested in winning elections and no he does not speak for the American people. Neither does McCain. You HAVE to compromise, get over it.

Posted by: averagejane3 | December 10, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

"Those with the most to gain from this bill twisted the arms of the Republicans to do this now,or,no money for the 2012 election."

I don't understand this part of your comment, rcaruth--who do you think has the most to gain, and what money for the 2012 election?

At any rate, it would be a mistake to expect immediate, rapid-fire and unanimous responses from "the Tea Party" on each and every bill. Opinion needs to be formed--it was easy to be united in opposition to something as egregious as the Obama/Pelosi Democrats. Now things need to be studied more carefully. The talk show hosts, bloggers, Congressmen and women closest to the Tea Party, and various unelected Tea Party Representatives need to weigh in. They've already been doing so--Limbaugh and Hugh Hewitt have been scathing, The guys at Power Line liked the deal, Michelle Bachmann more tentative, it seems, and I'm not sure about Palin (but I'm not exactly plugged in 24/7 to all this).

Posted by: adam62 | December 10, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

"Those with the most to gain from this bill twisted the arms of the Republicans to do this now,or,no money for the 2012 election."
I don't understand this part of your comment, rcaruth--who do you think has the most to gain, and what money for the 2012 election?

Adam,come on,wake up,Rush Limbaugh will gain 1,500,000 revenue in 2011 with the tax cuts continued. People with large incomes are pressuring the Republicans for results,not excuses. The penalties for failure are less money in 2012.

Posted by: rcaruth | December 10, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

It is painfully clear, that now, with a House majority on the way, the Republocult has gone back to the Shotgun Dick Cheney philosophy that deficits don't matter.

Posted by: rkerg | December 10, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Adam,come on,wake up,Rush Limbaugh will gain 1,500,000 revenue in 2011 with the tax cuts continued. People with large incomes are pressuring the Republicans for results,not excuses. The penalties for failure are less money in 2012.

---------
Rush makes 35,500,000.00??? Wow! Thats a lot of Oxycontin!

Posted by: SumHaveSaid | December 10, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

That's what you meant, rcaruth? That's about as vulgar marxist as you can get. Anyway, the new Republican majority will have plenty of time to produce results. And I don't begrudge Limbaugh his millions, or think the government will spend it better than he will.

Posted by: adam62 | December 10, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

this is what you will see from pelosi and reid the next 2 years .they can not get it threw their heads the only represent 15% of the loonie far left.they will make sure the rest of dems are voted out in 2012 with their antics.they labeled the gop as the party of no.unfortunately for progessive dems 70% of the voters voted against them after watching them try to govern and their conduct for past 2 years.

Posted by: dagner49 | December 10, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

RainForestRising wrote:
What is worse - it is a STATIC model.
It is not dynamic, it does NOT account for GROWTH.
+++++++++++++++

The fundamental problem is that Liberals do not, and evidently cannot, understand GROWTH.

It is like talking differential calculus to someone struggling with arithmetic.

It also reminds me about Dave Barry saying that he does not like flying because he does not believe in the Bernoulli principle.

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Posted by: niaoren99 | December 10, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

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