Is Popcorn Fine For Soap Opera Watching?

Because we have one serious soap opera brewing in DC. First, Obama calls Republicans hostage takers (that’s terrorists), then he lambastes the Progressives in the Democrat Party, in the same whiny speech. But that was only the beginning of this portion of The Edge Of Sanity soap opera. Four Hot Air articles shows the continuation of the plot as it thickens.

Allahpundit continues the show with Breaking: House Democrats vote to table Obama’s tax cuts bill; Update: Pelosi’s office demands changes; Update: WH to force Pelosi’s hand? Update: It’ll pass, says Barney Frank. There’s a lot of twisty turns there.

Biden told them last night in a meeting that no changes would be made, so they could either take it or leave it. Verdict: Leave it.

Defying President Obama, House Democrats voted Thursday not to bring up the tax package that he negotiated with Republicans in its current form.

“This message today is very simple: That in the form that it was negotiated, it is not acceptable to the House Democratic caucus. It’s as simple as that,” said Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen.

“We will continue to try and work with the White House and our Republican colleagues to try and make sure we do something right for the economy and right for jobs, and a balanced package as we go forward,” he said…

The vote also come less than an hour after Obama himself urged Congress to pass the compromise he struck with GOP leaders earlier this week and warned that failing to do it could cost jobs.

Be sure to read the whole article, including the four updates. So the far-left wing of the Democrat Party has become the party of NO. I wonder how that’s going to play out. Stay tuned. Up next, Ed Morrissey comes out with Graham: Say, this President’s kind of whiny and immature. When a squish like Lindsey Grahamnesty (who is very likely to be seriously primaried in 2014) calls someone whiny and immature, wow. Just … wow. Obama’s in well over his head.

Over the next two years, Barack Obama will have to work with Republicans on Capitol Hill in order to get anything accomplished. If this week is any indication of how Obama handles political negotiation, Lindsey Graham tells National Review, he’s got a long way to go — and some growing up to do. After his eruption of namecalling aimed at the very people with whom Obama crafted the deal, Graham says that the GOP won’t be terribly inclined to extend Obama any trust in the future:

“By using rhetoric that calls us ‘hostage-takers,’ he believes, somehow, that the Left will give him some credit for hating us, or putting us in a bad light. But it just lowers him,” Graham says. “He is whining, and no one likes a whining president. . . . There is a lot of disappointment on our side. Quite frankly, this is going to be hard to forget.”

The American people, Graham says, “see weakness” in how the president has handled the agreement. “They see a guy who is unsure of himself, who is political to a fault. He’s always got his finger up in the air, and that’s not comforting.”…

“I like the president personally, but he’s whining to the Left about ‘You’re putting too much pressure on me,’ and he’s whining to us about making his life difficult,” Graham continues. “What he ought to do is say ‘I support this deal, it’s the best thing for the country, it’s not what I would like in a perfect world, but I stand by it and I’m going to sell it the best I can and put America ahead of anything else.’ That means you don’t belittle your opponent or attack your base for having differences with you — triangulate without making everyone mad.”

It sounded as if Obama thought he could come across as a tough guy by griping at his press conference, but that’s not the way it works, in politics or anywhere else. Graham framed his whininess as “political immaturity,” but I’m not sure that requires a qualifier. After all, Obama called the GOP to make the deal in the first place — and as events yesterday and today amply demonstrate, it’s because only the GOP were willing to negotiate in good faith. After doing so, Obama knew that he was going to get slammed by his side, and decided to act tough by namecalling while essentially admitting he surrendered. That can be described in many different ways, but leadership isn’t one of them, and the personal weakness it displays isn’t limited to politics.

Every once in a while, Grahamnesty gets it right. This is definitely one of those times. For the next episode of The Edge Of Sanity, we travel to the left side of the aisle. Ed Morrissey brings us Conservative Dems: Progressives are holding tax deal “hostage”. I highly question whether there is any such an animal as a “conservative Democrat.” It could be just a line to pull you further into the plot, turning moderate Democrats into conservatives.

I think we officially have an official analogy fad now, thanks to President Obama:

Although the resolution solidifying the revolt was approved by House Democrats Thursday “nearly unanimously,” in the words of sponsor Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), a handful of moderate members are already up in arms.

Rep. Dan Boren (Okla.), among the most conservative Democrats on Capitol Hill, said he’s “extremely displeased” that the White House-GOP deal might not come to the floor as it stands.

“A clear majority of the U.S. House of Representatives supports this plan,” Boren said in a statement. “We are allowing the liberal wing of the Democratic caucus to hold these critically needed tax cuts hostage.”

Democratic leaders, he added, “are either not listening to what the voters are saying, or they are not interested in doing what is best for the American economy.”

Some, like Nevada’s Shelley Berkley, wondered why Nancy Pelosi and the progressives are going through the charade. The Senate will almost certainly pass the deal Obama made, and if the House tinkers with it, Republicans will simply block it in the conference report form. The caucus vote is little more than a publicity stunt, since the House will eventually have to vote on the Senate version one way or the other, and there is more than enough support in the overall House to pass it.

So we have the moderate Democrats essentially calling the far-left Democrats terrorists with the claim that the far-left is holding the “tax cuts hostage.” Of course, they aren’t tax cuts but rather maintaining the current tax levels. But the plot continues to thicken as our next episode shows.

Moving further to the left on the left side of the aisle, Allahpundit brings us Oh my: House Dem drops F-bomb on Obama at caucus meeting on tax cuts. I wonder which far-left Democrat member of Congress dropped the f-bomb on Obama. Had it been a Republican doing the same to Obama or Bush for that matter, the culprit would’ve been quickly and loudly outed on every lamestream media outlet. But not this Democrat.

I join with Ace in condemning this shocking example of extremist hatemongering incivility.

Seriously, though, look at it this way: If we had a parliamentary system, The One would be packing his bags by now.

The frustration with President Barack Obama over his tax cut compromise was palpable and even profane at Thursday’s House Democratic Caucus meeting.

One unidentified lawmaker went so far as to mutter “f— the president” while Rep. Shelley Berkley was defending the package the president negotiated with Republicans. Berkley confirmed the incident, although she declined to name the specific lawmaker…

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.) was also overheard saying that “we can’t trust him” not to cave to Republicans and extend the tax cuts again in two years, according to a Democratic source.

There’s plenty of hating going on from the far-left extremist Democrats in Congress. And Democrats are saying they cannot trust Obama. What comes next in The Edge Of Sanity? Will the far-left Democrats blast the centrist Democrats? Will Nancy Pelosi and her caucus scuttle the deal and let all the taxes increase? If so, will the Republicans in the House vote to return all tax rates to today’s rates in less than a month, and without some of the compromise portions? Will Obama have another hissy fit, whining about both sides again? Will Obama be primaried from the left and the center? Will there be even more wild plot twists?

Stay tuned for more from The Edge Of Sanity.

28 Comments

  1. Is Popcorn Fine For Soap Opera Watching?

    Orville Redenbacher’s Revenge! Nice post John. It’s amazing how these poor hostages, (the American workers), keep getting tossed around like a sack of potatoes. Pelosi’s “new direction” Congress sure has taken a wrong direction by their insistence of furthering their wealth distribution ignorance, while at the same time threatening millions without a job to go without any income on Jan. 1st.

    I’m certain when Dana’s liberal friends get out of bed this morning, they will have their “yeah butts” all lined up to protect their single-minded ideology of class warfare—and the shrinking middle class. Pelosi’s drones had all year to produce a compromising tax bill, but instead they concentrated on creating a health care bill designed to shift insurance companies into government control. (for those of you from Rio Linda, it called a new entitlement). Obama is as much to blame by handing Pelosi the reins for this disastrous policy, and now she’s so adamant about this income redistribution, she’s screwed up Harry Reid’s agenda to pass DADT and the Dream Act. Meanwhile, a majority of the nation can’t wait to get the gavel out of this pathetic lady’s hands before she destroys the entire economy.

  2. Rovin wrote:

    Pelosi’s drones had all year to produce a compromising tax bill, but instead they concentrated on creating a health care bill designed to shift insurance companies into government control.

    You can’t even give them that excuse: the health care bill was passed last March! Since thet time, the Democrats controlling the House have passed just two of the twelve annual appropriations bills, and never even got the other ten out of committee. WTF were they doing all of that time?

    They could have passed the tax bill President Obama wanted before the election, and run on it in November; would the Republicans have all held firm to filibuster it in the Senate if that led to a tax increase on American workers, even if they didn’t like the tax increase on the top producers? And if they did, wouldn’t the Democrats have hammered them on it during the campaign?

    Are the Democrats really that stupid?

  3. Dana asks:

    Are the Democrats really that stupid?

    Yes, sometimes!

    So are the Repubs, with their hostage taking in the Senate on this tax cut issue, all for the sake of their millionaires/billionaires. There’s a moral issue here too, rewarding those who have gained in spite of the great recession, versus those who are suffering and need the help desperately.

  4. WTF were they doing all of that time?

    They were celebrating their new entitlement, patting each other on the backs, while telling the rest of the nation to eat cake.

    Are the Democrats really that stupid?

    Stupidity and arrogance have played well into their extinction. Or, to add to your poker metaphor, with Pelosi still “in charge”, the libs aren’t playing with a full deck.

  5. Rovin proselytizes:

    I’m certain when Dana’s liberal friends get out of bed this morning, they will have their “yeah butts” all lined up to protect their single-minded ideology of class warfare—and the shrinking middle class.

    Let us be clear, Rovin, the class warfare began with the Bush tax cuts favoring the wealthy. The Dems would like to return us to where we were before, with the temporary exception for the suffering middle class, suffering with decades old wage stagnation, and now with unemployment as well, all from a great recession for which the Repubs bear major responsibility. Thus, regarding “redistribution”, it already occurred under your GW Bush. Why is it that you acolytes will not admit to this? Instead, you lie about it!

    And on health care, there is not government control, as the private insurers continue to call the shots. Had we succeeded in getting a public option, then your comment would have some truth to it.

    And speaking of health care costs, last year my health insurance went up 50%, before ObamaCare. For this coming year, I am going to have to pay 25% more. This is outrageous! ObamaCare, when it kicks in, is meant to rein in these health insurance scalpers, while making health care insurance available to tens of millions more.

    Comparing Pelosi to the tan man, well there is no comparison at all: Pelosi is a great leader, one who is in touch with the needs of the American middle, and exerts herself in their behalf. Boehner, well I would have to stretch to find something positive about him, except that he did pull himself up by the bootstraps, being from a struggling family of eleven children. It seems, however, that he has forgotten his roots.

  6. There’s a moral issue here too, rewarding those who have gained in spite of the great recession, versus those who are suffering and need the help desperately.

    Your liberal progressives had three years of promising to repair “Bush’s economy” and did nothing to help private sector jobs. Instead, the anti-business/anti-capitalist left thought they were bullet-proof and tacked even farther to the left racking up three trillion in new spending and pandering only to the public sector, (unions), while demanding social policy change. They failed miserably. Now, even when your President sees the peril of a weak economy that could hit the middle class even further with despair and uncertainty that could plunge this nation into a worse recession, a wing of your progressive party is prepared to defend this disastrous direction by standing on their stubborn “principles“. Without any morals or ethics, the left has abandoned the middle class who are suffering Perry. Instead of providing legislation that could have produced jobs, the Democrat Party punted. And their leadership is benched. They just haven’t figured this out—yet.

  7. Perry wrote:

    There’s a moral issue here too, rewarding those who have gained in spite of the great recession, versus those who are suffering and need the help desperately.

    So, you would punish those who worked harder and more effectively?

  8. The Dems would like to return us to where we were before, with the temporary exception for the suffering middle class, suffering with decades old wage stagnation, and now with unemployment as well, all from a great recession for which the Repubs bear major responsibility.

    Here’s where we will always part company Perry: The government CAN NOT and WILL NEVER provide the remedy for the middle class woes. ONLY the private sector can bring this nation out of this stagnant economy with government assistance. So far, the government has only added to the destruction, (purposely), of what has always driven this country’s economy—private enterprise.
    You and your liberal friends refusal to acknowledge this reality leaves me with little choice but to ignore the rhetoric and hope the damage Democrats have done to this country can be undone.

  9. We’re suffering the consequences of a structural problem. Joy Tiz at Canada Free Press, 12/09/10
    addresses the lame duck session:

    “…In Washington, not only do we let fired representatives hang around, we actually allow them to keep running the country. And like disgruntled former employees are wont to do, the current congress is vandalizing the nation.

    The whole lame duck session was never a particularly great idea. Common sense dictates that once the voters have thrown someone out of office, it’s best not to keep the rejected politician in a position of power. At one time, there was at least some rational basis for a lame duck session. It allowed time for newly elected legislators to hitch up their stage coaches and trek to DC. Nearly all of our current crop of elected officials seem to have unlimited access to private jets, making the 20th Amendment not only dangerous but obsolete.

    The current crop of lame ducks is more menacing than most. A lot of Democrats got pulverized in the November mid terms. And the current crop of Democrats are not exactly an emotionally stable lot. Does anyone really want Alan Grayson having access to anything important? Hence, the economy continues unabated in its death spiral while our demented (lame) ducks quack about amnesty and DADT. They can’t bother themselves to stop a massive tax hike on those few people who still have jobs and their employers.

    If ever a case was to be made to abolish the lame duck session, this congress is it. Like all emotionally disturbed ex employees, congress members need to be escorted to the exits, at gun point if necessary, and never allowed to return.”

  10. Rovin sure called it. There’s The Fossil whining and crying ad nauseaum.

    Here’s the deal: Perry and his far-lefties have been in screaming and yelling about the intransigent GOP, etc. Yet, when there finally IS a compromise, the intransigence of Perry’s far-left buddies in Congress is now … “a good thing.”

    Which just goes to show — yet again — the ridiculous and preposterous hypocrisy of people like Perry. Intransigence is good — when it’s for something HE believes in.

  11. Check out how [Democrat] Rep. Keith Ellison put it:

    “I think that we need to create a real crisis here so that the Republicans will have to answer for denying Americans unemployment benefits on the eve of the Christmas holiday,” Ellison said. We let them off the hook, in my opinion.”

    Remember when Obama said “It’s tempting not to negotiate with hostage takers unless the hostage gets harmed… In this case, the hostage [is] the American people”? Looks like Ellison wants to be the hostage taker now.

  12. Perry wrote:

    And speaking of health care costs, last year my health insurance went up 50%, before ObamaCare. For this coming year, I am going to have to pay 25% more. This is outrageous! ObamaCare, when it kicks in, is meant to rein in these health insurance scalpers, while making health care insurance available to tens of millions more.

    Really? You are the number one advocate of single-payer health care coverage, and, at age 76, you are already on the largest single-payer health care plan in the United States, Medicare. How is it that you are paying for private health insurance, unless you know — like we all do — that the single-payer Medicare system is wholly inadequate?

    It’s kind of like our favorite Kiwi Kommenter, covered by New Zealand’s single-payer system, choosing to pay out of pocket to get a procedure done promptly that, had he waited for the single-payer system, would have left him in serious pain for twelve weeks.

  13. Thing is, Hube, that Rep Keith bin Ellison is expressing his frustration, because the unemployment extension is gumming up the works for them. The only reason that the Democrats delayed the tax bill until after the election that makes the first bit of sense is that many of them secretly wanted all of the tax cuts to expire. The Speaker made some noises about bringing the tax cut extension, minus the extension for the top producers, to a vote before the election, but she never did anything about it; that was just a political ploy to try to fool the American people that the Democrats really did support the tax cut extension.

    If the unemployment extension wasn’t so time critical, giving the Republicans such leverage, I am convinced that President Obama would never have offered his compromise.

    And the time is even more critical than people realize. Benefits are running out now, right before Christmas. Not only will this mean that a couple million families won’t have Christmas this year, retailers typically earn the bulk of their yearly profits during the Christmas shopping season. If you take two million Christmas shoppers out of the loop — and probably more, really, since another million people will see their benefits expire in January, so they’ll cut back, too — you’re going to see a spike in the number of retailers who go out of business, throwing more people out of work.

    It’s really the perfect storm that’s facing the Democrats. If they don’t agree to the Republican version of the tax cut extension, everybody’s taxes will increase, and there will be no unemployment extension. Working families, seeing their paychecks shrink, will have less money to spend, and unemployed Americans even less. Several retailers will go out of business, unemployment will increase, and we’ll have a double-dip recession, thereby proving that the Democrats’ plans for increasing taxes caused the recession to get worse. :)

    Alternative scenario: the Republicans decide to be “compassionate conservatives,” and extend unemployment compensation separately from the tax cut extension. That puts the unemployed back into Christmas shopping a bit, helping some retailers avoid catastrophe. BUt January comes, and the tax increase still hits, and people’s paychecks shrink. Retailers will still feel the pinch, though perhaps not as badly, and while fewer go out of business than in the first scenario, some still do, throwing people out of work. Maybe not a double-dip recession, but stagnation rather tan growth at the very best.

    Either way, the Democrats lose! :)

  14. Considering this tax bill isn’t horrible – it’s an extension for two years, plus the unemployment benefit extension we wanted and a bunch of other tax credits aimed at lower-income people – I think it’s a decent compromise. But as a matter of political strategy, House Dems should do like they’re doing now – act like they don’t want the bill – and then offer their votes on this in exchange for Senate approval of DADT repeal, START, and the 9/11 responders health bill (all three of which poll at well over 60%). Spin it right, and that puts Senate Republicans in a box – if they reject that deal, they’ll be dooming everyone to higher taxes because they couldn’t bring themselves to support three wildly popular initiatives.

  15. Oh, and to Sen. Graham and all the other Republicans whining about Obama calling them names? If you can hear it, I’m currently playing “My Heart Bleeds For You” on the world’s smallest iPod. Politics is a contact sport. You can’t take a little name-calling? Call the waaaaaaahmbulance and have it take you home.

  16. Dana questions:

    Really? You are the number one advocate of single-payer health care coverage, and, at age 76, you are already on the largest single-payer health care plan in the United States, Medicare. How is it that you are paying for private health insurance, unless you know — like we all do — that the single-payer Medicare system is wholly inadequate?

    First of all, when you reach age 65, and beyond, you will discover that single-payer Medicare is far from “wholly inadequate”. For example, I have Part A (hospital insurance, provided by Medicare), Part B (medical insurance, provided by my former employer), Part D (prescription drugs, provided by my former employer). For Parts B and D, my former employer, as part of my retirement benefits, picks up some of the premium costs, the rest I have to pay. It is this latter premium for coinsurance that went up 50% last year, and is going up another 25% this year. So in addition to this coinsurance, I am also subject to deductibles and copayments like anyone else has to pay. So Medicare insurance is not a free ride, but still it is a big help. You will find out soon enough!

    I imagine the insurance premium costs for those under age 65 are experiencing similar premium increases, as I have heard some anecdotal evidence to that effect. This is due to the continuing skyrocketing of medical costs in this country, which ObamaCare is designed to reduce this escalation by bending the cost curve while making more affordable insurance available for our tens of millions who are uninsured. Too bad we did not get the public option, however, as that would have reduced premium costs yet further.

  17. Hube opines:

    Here’s the deal: Perry and his far-lefties have been in screaming and yelling about the intransigent GOP, etc. Yet, when there finally IS a compromise, the intransigence of Perry’s far-left buddies in Congress is now … “a good thing.”

    Which just goes to show — yet again — the ridiculous and preposterous hypocrisy of people like Perry. Intransigence is good — when it’s for something HE believes in.

    Hube, if you wish to fling the “hypocrisy” accusation around, fling it onto yourself as well. Your party has exercised intransigence in the Senate since Obama took office, and now we have one example of intransigence on the other side, and you complain.

    I thoroughly sympathize with those on the left decrying extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy; it was unwise to begin with, and remains unwise, especially at this time of hardship for the middle, in my opinion.

    Moreover, the left is not appreciating being left out of the negotiation loop, so their feelings are hurt.

    Lefties will let off steam, but come around to accepting the compromise, as the Repub a**holes continue to hold their political opponents hostage by continued misuse of the filibuster privilege. I have the feeling that righties will come to the point where they will regret their filibuster abuse, when it is used against them, causing them to squeal like the stuffed pigs that most of them truly are!

    So Hube, wrap yourself in that hypocrite shroud, because you have earned it too!

  18. Rovin speaks:

    Here’s where we will always part company Perry: The government CAN NOT and WILL NEVER provide the remedy for the middle class woes. ONLY the private sector can bring this nation out of this stagnant economy with government assistance. So far, the government has only added to the destruction, (purposely), of what has always driven this country’s economy—private enterprise.
    You and your liberal friends refusal to acknowledge this reality leaves me with little choice but to ignore the rhetoric and hope the damage Democrats have done to this country can be undone.

    You have chosen to ignore the history of the Cheney/Bush administration, Rovin, of which you are well aware, I’m sure. We cannot make progress when leaders have this attitude. Of course the government has a role to play, as in preventing a global meltdown in the Fall of 2008, and in generating fiscal and monetary policies that will temporarily foster job growth, until the private sector can resume its normal role in a recovering economy. Having trillions in private hands sitting idle is not the road to recovery!

  19. Dana wrote:

    There’s a moral issue here too, rewarding those who have gained in spite of the great recession, versus those who are suffering and need the help desperately. (Perry)

    So, you would punish those who worked harder and more effectively? (Dana)

    Who says they got there by working harder? I would say that many of them continue to game the system, with nanosecond short selling, with robo-signatures on foreclosure documents, with disproportional executive pay and bonuses, with questionable security bundling, …. Nevertheless, continuing a tax policy that preferably benefited the wealthy to begin with is not morally right. Therefore, returning to the pre-Bush tax cut situation can hardly be viewed as a punishment, except to those sharing your religion!

  20. Rovin propagandizes:

    Your liberal progressives had three years of promising to repair “Bush’s economy” and did nothing to help private sector jobs. Instead, the anti-business/anti-capitalist left thought they were bullet-proof and tacked even farther to the left racking up three trillion in new spending and pandering only to the public sector, (unions), while demanding social policy change. They failed miserably. Now, even when your President sees the peril of a weak economy that could hit the middle class even further with despair and uncertainty that could plunge this nation into a worse recession, a wing of your progressive party is prepared to defend this disastrous direction by standing on their stubborn “principles“. Without any morals or ethics, the left has abandoned the middle class who are suffering Perry. Instead of providing legislation that could have produced jobs, the Democrat Party punted. And their leadership is benched. They just haven’t figured this out—yet.

    Not one word about what happened before, followed by an ultra-partisan characterization of what happened after, therefore worthless, in my humble opinion!

  21. and now we have one example of intransigence on the other side, and you complain.

    One? One? One?

    Reality to Perry: I’m over HERE.

  22. Your liberal progressives had three years

    how does that work?

    somehow the liberal progressives took over at the start of 2008, not the start of 2009?

    Or are you claiming former President Bush was a liberal progressive?

  23. The liberal Progressives took over Congress in January, 2007. This is December, 2010. That makes nearly four years. The Constitution specifically notes where revenue bills originate, and that’s Congress, specifically the House of Representatives where Nancy Pelosi and her far-left bunch have been ruling the roost since January, 2007. And they didn’t even bother with a budget this year until after the election was over and after the fiscal year already started. A key part of their jobs, according to the Constitution.

    As far as GHWB and GWB go, they’re more along the lines of Statist squishes because neither are Conservatives.

  24. When the GOP or TEA Party opposed Obama’s agenda Leftists were quick to label them as racists, but when Democrats oppose Obama’s compromise agenda they couldn’t possibly be doing it because they’re racists. Oh no, they oppose Obama purely on policy differences, race has nothing at all to do with it, nothing at all, absolutely nothing.

  25. ropelight complains:

    When the GOP or TEA Party opposed Obama’s agenda Leftists were quick to label them as racists, ….

    Citation please!

    My recollection is that the racist moniker was made by some who were viewing some of the posters on display at TEA Party rallies, [like this one in Madison, WI].

  26. Perry, if hypocrisy and denial are your only fig leaves, then you stand naked, exposed, and unrepentant.

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