irrelevantto winning compromises... all showed he understood, got the message voters sent and was acting accordingly.
Then he screwed it all up again.
By the the numbers:
June 2010- Gallup:
42 percent of Americans describing themselves as either very conservative or conservative, 20 percent self identify as liberal and 35 percent as Moderate.
Republicans were trusted more than Democrats on nine of ten key issues, included in those issues were federal spending, the economy and jobs. Voters also made it clear economy mattered the most.
The economy was the most important issue and that poll also showed voters trusted Republicans more that Democrats, 49 to 39 percent.
Taxes were specifically mentioned in that Rasmussen poll:
Forty-eight percent (48%) of voters nationwide place their trust in the hands of Republicans when it comes to the issue of taxes. Thirty-nine percent (39%) would rather the Democrats handle this issue. The GOP has held a solid lead over Democrats on this issue since early July 2009.November 23, 2010- After midterms- Gallup:
Americans are most likely to say it is important for Congress to pass legislation to keep the estate tax from increasing significantly next year and to extend the income tax cuts passed under George W. Bush before the end of the year. Just under half say it is important for Congress to extend unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed.The polls establish that Democrats, for whatever reason, lost the trust of American voters on the economy and taxes and on November 2, 2010, the midterm elections, voters handed the GOP control of the House of Representatives in the biggest gain for a party in over 70 years and gave them a six seat net gain in the Senate.
The polls also establish that Americans listed keeping estate taxes aka the death tax from increasing, extending the Bush era tax cuts and extending unemployment benefits, as the top three issues Americans deemed priorities.
The Tax Deal
November 18, 2010, Barack Obama met with the Democratic leadership (the House of Representatives still under Pelosi's control until the GOP take control in January) and according to one official, reported by The Politico, Obama left that meeting "dispirited" and determined to work directly with Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
"The point is the House and Senate [leadership] has proven they are incapable of getting things done," the official said.
So Obama did just that. He went into direct negotiations with Republicans. Something even Obama admitted, according to administration officials, he did not do enough of during the two years that Democrats controlled both house's of Congress and the White House.
President Barack Obama told GOP leaders behind closed doors Tuesday that he had failed to reach across party lines enough during his first two years in office, a senior administration official told CNN. He promised to do a better job of bipartisan outreach in the days ahead, the official added.To that end, Obama appeared to keep to his word and the White House and Republicans hammered out a deal which covered each of the three top priorities American voters listed above as most important to deal with during the lame duck session, and more.
"The president said he had to do better, and the president is ready to do his part," the official said.
President Barack Obama reached agreement Monday with Republican leaders in Congress on a broad tax package that would extend the Bush-era income tax cuts for two years, reduce worker payroll taxes for one year and give more favorable treatment to business investments.So far, golden. Republicans and the White House, in the first real test of how they would attempt to work together in the coming year, were able to reach compromises that neither side thought perfect but both gave a little and took a little and made the point to the American public that they were trying.
Other elements of the deal include a temporary reinstatement of the estate tax at 35%—the level favored by most Republican lawmakers—as well as an extension of jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed.
Polling after the tax deal was reached showed that a clear majority of Americans (66%) favored the tax deal's major two components, extending the tax cuts and extending unemployment benefits.
Liberals went nuts, politicians, pundits and the entire far left liberal blogosphere denounced the tax deal that Americans overwhelmingly favored. Democratic Politicians quoted as saying "f--- the president", the blogosphere demanding a line in the sand be drawn over the estate tax, the still but not for long Democratically controlled House voting on a non-binding resolution to not consider the tax deal even if it meant letting taxes rise for everyone and unemployment benefits expire.
Liberals have accused Obama of betraying them, being a liar, being weak and a number of other things, but liberals have truly screwed him over at a time he needed them the most.
To have the first public battle having to be fought against your own party showing they don't even support you in trying to act accordingly to the devastating results of a midterm election that saw your party suffer massive losses, has to feel like the biggest betrayal of all.
I hate to say it, but when I wrote my posts about liberal reactions, I actually felt a little bit bad for Obama, even though I disagree almost 100 percent with his political ideology.
Barack Obama's Mistakes
Obama, obviously frustrated at this point, gave a speech where he denounced Republicans as "hostage takers" and far left liberal Democrats as "sanctimonious".
Peggy Noonan explains this mistake succinctly, so let me turn it over to her for a moment:
The president must have thought that distancing himself from left and right would make him more attractive to the center. But you get credit for going to the center only if you say the centrist position you've just embraced is right. If you suggest, as the president did, that the seemingly moderate plan you agreed to is awful and you'll try to rescind it in two years, you won't leave the center thinking, "He's our guy!" You'll leave them thinking, "Note to self: Remove Obama in two years."
Exactly and well said Peggy!!!
All the good will Obama may have generated among the 35 percent that identify as Moderate, he just undid in one speech.
Liberals, to which only 20 percent of Americans self identify as, will never vote Republican in a presidential election, they will either not vote of they will vote for the Democratic candidate.
Moderates, Independents not affiliated with either party have proven election cycle after election cycle that they will vote for either party if they believe that particular party in that particular year is the better option.
Republicans will either stay home or vote for the Republican candidate.
Logic would dictate that a president planning to run for reelection in two years would specifically set his goal toward winning back the Independents that helped him win the original presidential election, doubly hard after he lost them during the midterms.
But Obama didn't.
That speech was his first mistake but it didn't end there.
Obama then decided he needed to appease his far left liberal base in some manner, or win them over, so he started generating graphs showing how much he obtained in the Tax deal versus what Republicans obtained. He started emailing the media endorsements of his plan by other liberals.
All proving to Moderates and Independents that he worked with the Republicans because he "had" to, not because he realized voters want to see at least some level of cooperation.
Then promising to "fix" it over the next couple years, put Obama right back to where he was after the midterm elections, perhaps even worse.
but by handing the whole press conference over to him and then leaving in the midst of it to attend a party!!
If it isn't bad enough that Obama hid behind Clinton like a boy hiding behind his daddy , Clinton's words, his endorsement of the plan in saying "The agreement, taken as a whole is, I believe, the best bipartisan agreement we can reach to help the largest number of Americans, and to maximize the chances that the economic recovery will accelerate and create more jobs, and to minimize the chances that it will slip back, which is what has happened in other financial collapses," directly contradicts Obama's message about the deal needing "fixing" over the next two years.
If Barack Obama would have stood firm, come out and clearly, with no apologies, said "this is the deal we have negotiated, this deal addresses the primary concerns of American voters and if the Democratically controlled House of Representatives refuses to pass it, in the spirit of bipartisanship I would hope the new GOP controlled House of Representatives in 2011 will keep to their word and pass it, as is, retroactively."
That would have put Nancy Pelosi and 20 percent far left liberals in their place, it would have put the GOP into a corner forcing them to go back on their negotiations or pass it in January, and it would have shown that Barack Obama had a spine.
He was so close..... then he blew it again.