"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

“Dispirited Liberals Fumed,” Having “Lost Completely,” Saying The Tea Party “Ended Up Winning”

August 3rd, 2011 by mopns · No Comments

 

With the debt ceiling crisis over, it’s instructive to consider the reactions from many Democrats and liberal pundits to the deal. Though a number of news reports and conservative commentators suggested that the agreement was a win for tea partiers and Republicans, it’s telling how upset many liberal Democrats who wanted more spending and higher taxes are after getting neither of those things.

The Huffington Post: “Liberals were extremely displeased with the final result of the talks, which began with Democrats saying there should be no strings attached to a debt limit increase that would enable the country pay its bills. Then they insisted that if deficit reduction was going to be linked to the debt limit, then closing loopholes and raising taxes on the rich had to be part of the deal. They lost completely on both counts, and House Republicans managed to pull the entire deal further and further to the right, even inserting a requirement into the agreement for a vote on a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”

The Washington Post: “Dispirited liberals fumed Monday over the deal to raise the debt ceiling that would cut deeply across the government, include no new tax revenue from wealthy Americans and would not provide any additional stimulus for a lagging economy. Most of all, they lamented President Obama’s failure to anticipate and overcome the leverage exerted by House Republicans who threatened to force a national default. ‘It’s a surrender to Republican extortion,’ said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who voted against the deal. . . .  Off the Hill, liberals searched for silver linings but came up with little more than the consolation that some of the particulars were not as damaging as they could have been. Liberal policy experts decried the absence of the upfront economic stimulus measures that Obama had pressed for . . . . More generally, [liberal] faulted [Obama] for having adopted the Republicans’ framing on the need for austerity at a time when the economy still suffers from a lack of demand.”

Liberal Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson summed things up from his perspective on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” yesterday. “The Tea Party had a really good month. They got some of what they wanted. They played their hand quite well and they ended up winning. So they won. The Democrats lost and we’ll move on from there,” he said.

In a story titled, “Democrats Feel the Short End of the Stick,” Roll Call wrote, “In the end, it seems the only people in Washington being forced to eat their debt limit peas will be Democrats, who found themselves swallowing a bitter political deal forced on them by the White House and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). When President Barack Obama issued his famous ‘peas’ admonishment, he didn’t have just his fellow Democrats in mind. But in the end, it was clearly Democrats — and not Republicans — who were feeling the pain from his agreement.”

Roll Call noted, “Rep. Raúl Grijalva, co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, dismissed the negotiations as little more than a capitulation by the White House to GOP demands, arguing it was ‘all give and no take, no back and forth. This is no compromise.’ ‘We’re trapped in this tea party agenda. They won, so they should be able to deliver the votes,’ the Arizona Democrat added.”

Left-wing Oregon Democrat Rep. Peter DeFazio summarized, “No revenues, big domestic cuts, the only specified cut is to student financial aid; that’s kind of bizarre. . . . And the prospect of things getting worse in November. No, I don’t think it’s a good deal.”

Roll Call also pointed out that “Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) ripped the package because nothing would come from the wealthy or from corporations. ‘This deficit reduction package is grotesquely unfair, and it is also bad economic policy,’ he said.”

On CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) complained, “There are people on the left who would probably say ‘no cuts,’ but they haven’t been able to have their way within our caucuses, whereas this hard right group seems to get its way all the time.”

In his column earlier this week, the Washington Examiner’s Timothy Carney highlighted, “Chris Hayes, Washington editor of the liberal Nation magazine, wrote on Sunday, ‘Deal on the table is all cuts, no revenue. This is a rout.’ New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, the stern parson of progressive true believers, objected on Sunday morning television that ‘we shouldn’t even be talking about spending cuts right now.’”

Krugman actually titled his Monday New York Times column, “The President Surrenders.” He wrote, “For the deal itself, given the available information, is a disaster, and not just for President Obama and his party. . . . And then there are the reported terms of the deal, which amount to an abject surrender on the part of the president. . . . It is, of course, a political catastrophe for Democrats, who just a few weeks ago seemed to have Republicans on the run over their plan to dismantle Medicare; now Mr. Obama has thrown all that away.”

And The New York Times editorial board fumed Sunday, “[I]t is a nearly complete capitulation to the hostage-taking demands of Republican extremists.”

As The Washington Post wrote, “One senior Senate Democratic aide said that averting a default was a victory of sorts for Obama, ‘but when you look at the emerging details, spending cuts and triggers with no revenue, the president got rolled.’ Asked if the deal was balanced, as the president had required, former Obama White House economic adviser Jared Bernstein said, ‘Not by any stretch of the imagination.’

Related:

Rasmussen Reports: Just 22% Approve of Debt Ceiling Deal, Most Doubt It Will Cut Spending

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0 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ellise // Aug 4, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Liberals whine that Republicans won this battle, but really, no one won, least of all the United States of America.

  • 2 Lance // Aug 8, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    We can all win if we are able to reduce the deficit, make the available credit pool larger and put more Americans back to work (120,000 per month more).

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