When I first heard that the president cut a deal with the Republicans to extend the Bush tax cuts for all Americans, including the top 2 percent of earners which the president repeatedly stated he would not, I thought, like many Democrats, that he caved.
Often in my life when I offer someone a job, or have an idea I run by them, they will tell me: "Let me sleep on it."
So I slept on the president’s announcement.
This morning, I awoke feeling less angry and more focused. I have always known that the best negotiations are when you leave something on the table but get most of what you desired. The president, the Democrats and America desired that unemployment benefits be extended. The youth and seniors of America desired a tax break when it comes to Social Security. The middle and lower income households desired that the tax cuts be extended for them.
When I was on TV this morning, I likened the GOP threatening to block any legislation until they got their way to my toddler lying down and kicking his feet at Target when he can’t get another Matchbox car. The president, like many parents, gave into the tantrum to stop the fighting, the chaos. But then the president did me one better. He likened the situation with the Republicans to a hostage crisis; with America being held hostage by the GOP. In other words, the president cut a deal to temporarily save our butts, America. And now, he is asking the Democrats to stand by him and to work with the Republicans to get this done, this year.
Normally I would say to the Democrats fight, grow a spine! But when I look at the last administration and how the Republicans rallied around Bush when his poll numbers were dropping, with the knowledge that he conducted illegal wiretaps, invaded a sovereign nation based on a lie, and trampled on the U.S. Constitution too many times to count, I feel, give the president a pass. Back him. For the sake of the presidency, for the sake of the party and for the sake of the country.
The Bush tax cuts for the past decade didn’t result on job creation or economic growth; economists know that, politics aside. If this is what must be done to prevent more people from losing their unemployment benefits and allowing them the opportunity to feed their families or pay for their healthcare, then so be it.
Obama is the president to all of us. The employed and the unemployed, the rich and the poor and those of us in between, the GOP, the Democrats, the independents and the (my new word, thank you, from a recent caller to my show!) teapublicans.
Yesterday, when the president spoke and defended his actions, his credibility and his strength, I saw that man who spoke of hope. I saw that man who spoke of change. I saw the man I voted for and my faith in him was restored. And at the end of the day, if the economy’s still bad in two years, he can always blame the Republicans for demanding these tax cuts for the rich, right?