Making Lemonade from Lemons

Posted: Dec 09, 2010 10:09 AM
There's no doubt that the tax deal is good for President Obama -- insofar as it increases the chances of an economic recovery, which will positively impact his bid for re-election.

But The White House may be working too hard to make lemonade from lemons when unnamed sources argue that the imbroglio with fellow Democrats over the deal is a good thing for the President, making him look "mature" and "pragmatic."

The argument doesn't really hold up, mostly because of the success of ObamaCare.  When Bill Clinton tacked right after 1994, he had no unpopular, left-wing, gigantic new government program to defend.  And, what's more, (perhaps in part because of his smaller majorities) he hadn't governed in as partisan and divisive a way as Obama has.  And while the left liked Clinton, he didn't have as far to fall in their estimation -- in contrast to Obama, in whom the left (correctly) saw a fellow ideologue.

The White House can hope that someone out here is starting to think that the President is "mature" or "pragmatic."  But as to the latter, Americans aren't stupid -- they've lived through the last two years and they understand that Obama isn't at heart a pragmatist.  As for "mature," well, his peevish press conference from a day or so ago, petulantly blaming both Republicans and Democrats, pretty much drives the stake through the heart of that claim.  

It's hard to remember any other president, at least in recent memory, behaving that way.  And it's easy to see why Democrats are angry at him.  They take tough votes to advance his (liberal) agenda, lose their House majority, and then are denounced by the guy for whom they walked the plank.  Niiiice.