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Obama’s Grand Compromise Angers His Leftist Base But He May Not Care

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Posted on December 7 2010 12:00 pm

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Hell hath no fury like a Leftist betrayed. Barack Obama is under attack from his own progressive base for agreeing to extend for two years the Bush-era tax cuts for all Americans in return for certain concessions by Republican congressional leaders.  These concessions include an extension of additional tax cuts for low-income workers from last year’s stimulus law, a thirteen month extension of unemployment benefits and a one-year cut in payroll taxes. It is also quite possible that Obama was willing to trade a short across-the-board extension of current tax rates in exchange for a vote on the ratification of his New START treaty.

Although fighting the inevitable all the way to the end, Obama reluctantly reached a bipartisan compromise in order to break a philosophical logjam between the parties and prevent a tax increase on all income brackets on January 1st. The New York Times called it “capitulation.” The left-wing newspaper, which is usually a reliable mouthpiece for Obama administration policies, complained that Obama “should have fought harder.”

Compared to others on the Left, the Times is being polite. MoveOn.org, for example, has created a television ad featuring Obama voters who ask, “What’s happened to that bold progressive man we elected president?” In a not too subtle hint of a potential primary challenge to Obama from the Left, the ad is aimed at Iowa. Dan Rather, the former CBS anchor who left the network after his involvement in reporting a false story regarding George W. Bush’s military experience, predicted that as a result of Obama’s decision to compromise he will most certainly face such a primary challenge.

Picking up on that same theme, Norman Solomon, a leader of Progressive Democrats of America, delcared:

Obama may have just ensured that he’ll face a significant challenge to his renomination in 2012 from inside the Democratic Party. By giving away the store on such a momentous tax issue, he has now done huge damage to a large portion of the progressive base that helped to make him president.

Daily Kos ran a poll asking readers “Deal or No Deal?” 74 percent of respondents said, “Don’t make the deal – let all tax cuts expire.”

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