As you surely know by know, after much huffing and puffing and threats, enough Republicans in the House (about one in three) ended up backing the Senate’s “fiscal cliff” bill to get it passed by a comfortable margin. House Speaker John Boehner and Representative Paul Ryan ended up backing it, whiile Representative Eric Cantor and other hard-rightists opposed.
For starters, here’s a colorful Politico account of Boehner twice telling Harry Reid to “Go fuck yourself!” twice last Friday, just steps from the Oval Office, and then bragging about it to his colleagues. Politico also suggests Reid feels Obama has given away too much leverage now.
Joe Scarborough this morning wondered how the GOP could have “mismanaged” the whole affair any worse. By the way, from the other side of the spectrum, MoveOn.org sent out a mass e-mail near the end asking members to call Democratic Congress members and ask them to vote no.
I’ll be posting reactions to the new bill and the upcoming debt ceiling crisis all day here, so look for adds below. And have you heard the rumors about Boehner either stepping down as Speaker or likely losing in his bid to continue?
Here’s the NYT editorial posted before final vote hitting Obama for “tepid” stands and too much compromising out front. And the paper’s Peter Baker quotes several complaints from “the left” here. Amy Davidson of The New Yorker wonders why no one (not even the Repubs) gives a damn about dropping the payroll tax break. Frank Rich on the "circus" just beginning, thanks to the GOP's "radical right."
Paul Krugman at his blog weighs in on final results.
So why the bad taste in progressives’ mouths? It has less to do with where Obama ended up than with how he got there. He kept drawing lines in the sand, then erasing them and retreating to a new position. And his evident desire to have a deal before hitting the essentially innocuous fiscal cliff bodes very badly for the confrontation looming in a few weeks over the debt ceiling.
If Obama stands his ground in that confrontation, this deal won’t look bad in retrospect. If he doesn’t, yesterday will be seen as the day he began throwing away his presidency and the hopes of everyone who supported him.