No We Can’t: One Progressive Who Sees Obama’s Deal As Weakness

Posted by | December 7, 2010 20:50 | Filed under: Top Stories

By Yashwanth Manjunath

Remember how dark the Bush years were for liberals? (And the country?) How weak the Democratic party was? How badly they failed at putting up any resistance as Bush and Cheney destroyed the economy and our reputation abroad? Well even that pathetic, pudding-soft, joke of an opposition party managed to filibuster Bush’s disastrous tax cut plan back in 2003. Bush not only had to use reconciliation to break the filibuster, he had to call Dick Cheney out of his bunker so that Cheney could go down to the Senate (exposing himself to sunlight along the way) and break a 50-50 tie. Today Barack Obama revealed that he is determined to set a new, even more pathetic standard of Democratic party weakness with his compromise on extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.

But it is even worse for Obama than being weaker the Senate Democrats during the Bush years. Even this batch of weaker and more corrupt Democratic Senators are rebelling against him. It was one thing when actual progressives like Tom Harkin and Bernie Sanders (pictured) criticize Obama for agreeing to a two-year extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. Sanders is actually going to filibuster the tax cut “deal” and is actively rallying opposition in the Senate, by the way. But now Obama has lost establishment Senate Democrats like Frank Lautenberg, Mark Udall, and Pat Leahy. Leahy actually said “I will support President Obama when he is right and oppose the president when he is wrong. I feel the president is wrong to make this deal.”

But its even worse than that. Mary Landrieu came out today and said the fight over the Bush tax cuts  “is beyond politics. This is about justice and doing what’s right.” Landrieu went even further in describing her rage over this “deal”:

“It’s what I’m calling the Obama-McConnell plan. We’re going to borrow $46 billion from the poor, from the middle class, from businesses of all sizes basically to give a tax cut to families in America today, that despite the recession, are making over a million dollars. I mean, this is unprecedented. Unprecedented. I want to repeat that.”

Other than Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu is the most “conservative”/corporatist Senator in the entire Democratic caucus. She is a Senator from Louisiana who, during the BP oil spill, called for expanded offshore oil drilling. She also pledged to join Republicans in filibustering any attempts at a public option during the health care debate. Now she looks like Huey Long compared to Obama.

What the hell is Obama doing? At what point will he fight back and show some strength?

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