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Subject:  Re: That Obama is a Cheeky Ba%$ard Date:  12/3/2012  10:39 PM
Author:  albaby1 Number:  1842079 of 2211427

LOL. Let me get this straight . . . You are saying that Obama should negotiate with himself and keep reducing his proposal from what he actually wants in order to provide Republicans with political cover. I'm sorry. I didn't realize you had been in a coma during the past 4 years. That is exactly the tactic the Republicans have used against him over and over again. Perhaps during your comatose slumber you missed the number of times Obama tried to make his own proposals more palatable to the Republican congress only to have them reject their own proposals and move further to the reactionary realm.

Your insults notwithstanding, my post was addressing a possible motivation for Obama starting with something that provided something other than the Democratic wish list after Republicans had expressed willingness to raise taxes, not rates. The reason you would do it is to make a final deal that avoided the fiscal cliff more likely. Despite your disparaging remarks, in each of the instances where Obama did make proposals more palatable to Republicans, that ended up resulting in an eventual agreement.

You can certainly argue against doing that in this instance, on the grounds that reducing the risk of a stalemate isn't worth the bargaining position you give up by not being a hardliner from the start. Clearly, that's where the Administration ended up. However, my answer to your question is still correct - the reason you would start with something that might be the basis of an eventual agreement is because it gives the other party enough cover to enter into serious negotiations.

As it happens, the GOP simply responded with a counterproposal that has just as little chance of getting adopted as the President's. Thus, a week ends up being wasted, with no movement towards an agreement.

So no, I haven't been in a coma. I'm well aware of how much more satisfying it is to take a political hardline against your opponents, rather than offer any appearance of being conciliatory and getting hammered by your own base. But if that drops the country into another recession, it's going to be a terrible outcome - which is why the Administration might plausibly have chosen another route.

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