I can’t say I’m totally surprised by New York Times columnist Helene Cooper’s comments on Meet the Press this morning. After all, the president won every single swing state on November 6th -- except North Carolina -- even after some of the most respected political pundits on the Right predicted he would lose his bid for re-election in a landslide (via The Weekly Standard):
"I think when you talk about the feeling at the White House, there's a palpable difference now compared to 2011 -- the summer of 2011. They are so much cockier right now at the White House than they were a year and a half ago when they were doing this. They really believe they’re have set out -- you come to us, we're not going to negotiate against ourselves. [Remember] the summer of 2011, when President Obama was perceived, and they believed at the White House, that he kept making concession after concession and didn't get anywhere? They are definitely not doing that now."
So cocky, in fact, that the president delivered (via his Treasury Secretary) a laughable and preposterous “compromise” to avert the looming “fiscal cliff”. Meanwhile, the White House continues to maintain that they will not negotiate with the opposition party -- unless, of course, Republicans agree to raise taxes on “the wealthy,” which the GOP leadership did. But if the nation goes cliff diving, as some liberals are all-too-eager to let happen -- there will be another recession -- and unemployment, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, will skyrocket. Earlier I noted that there are some benefits to the country going over the cliff (i.e., immediate spending cuts), but such positives are clearly outweighed by the problems a recession could cause. Thus, perhaps the president should learn some humility, because if the “fiscal cliff” talks fail, nothing could harm his presidential legacy more than four more years of economic stagnation.