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WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama's top adviser suggested to The Huffington Post late Wednesday that the administration is ready to accept an across-the-board, temporary continuation of steep Bush-era tax cuts, including those for the wealthiest taxpayers.

That appears to be the only way, said David Axelrod, that middle-class taxpayers can keep their tax cuts, given the legislative and political realities facing Obama in the aftermath of last week's electoral defeat.

"We have to deal with the world as we find it," Axelrod said during an unusually candid and reflective 90-minute interview in his office, steps away from the Oval Office. "The world of what it takes to get this done."

"There are concerns," he added, that Congress will continue to kick the can down the road in the future by passing temporary extensions for the wealthy time and time again. "But I don't want to trade away security for the middle class in order to make that point."

It has been widely assumed that the president would have to accept an across-the-board deal of some kind, but Axelrod's remarks were the first public confirmation of that fact -- and by a figure regarded as closer to Obama than any other White House staffer.

Also dealing "with the world as we find it," Axelrod declined repeatedly to comment on any of the controversial debt-reduction measures suggested by the chairs of the president's own commission -- even those, such as raising the Social Security retirement age, that go against Obama campaign pledges and strike at the heart of Democratic constituencies.

He said that the White House would wait until the commission made its final recommendations on Dec. 1 before adding, "the president's commitments haven't changed."

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Okay, I am in a mood today, so bear with me, but before the yahoos get in to the Congress in January, he needs to shove end the cuts for the wealthy, pure and simple. He needs to man up. This is where his severance from progressives and Civil Rights advocates in the African American community sucks. F*^# the Tea Baggers, F*&# the Republicans, F!@# bipartisan ship. Rally your peps Mr. President. We got your back. Speak plainly, forcefully, directly, and with conviction to your base on these matters. If you go down, you at least go down swinging.
he needs to shove end the cuts for the wealthy, pure and simple. He needs to man up. This is where his severance from progressives and Civil Rights advocates in the African American community sucks. F*^# the Tea Baggers, F*&# the Republicans, F!@# bipartisan ship. Rally your peps Mr. President. We got your back.

But, I knew this was coming when he came on the tv the day after the mid-term elections and damn near conceded to defeat merely because of the republican wins in the election.  

I hate to say it, but at this point and via retrospect, I'm beginning to wonder about Obama, and WHO exactly he is actually working for in Washington.  He is having little too many peculiar reactions to the opposition.



Now, Axlerod and the White House are now walking back and retracting their words saying that the article was "overwritten":


Within 10 hours, more than 15,000 comments were posted, and a debate ensued about whether Axelrod had caved, or just restated President Barack Obama’s post-election position that he was open to compromising on the question.

But the White House denied Mr. Axelrod was throwing in the towel, or going beyond the open-to-compromise stance Mr. Obama and his spokesman Robert Gibbs struck in the days after Democrats got their Election Day drubbing.

“There is not one bit of news here,’’ Mr. Axelrod said in an email quoted by the Washington Post. “I simply re-stated what POTUS and Robert have been saying. Our two strong principles are that we need to extend the tax cuts for the middle class, but we can’t afford a permanent extension of the tax cuts for the wealthy.’’

And White House comm director Dan Pfeiffer adds:

The story is overwritten. Nothing has changed from what the President said last week. We believe we need to extend the middle class tax cuts, we cannot afford to borrow 700 billion to pay for extending the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, and we are open to compromise and are looking forward to talking to the Congressional leadership next week to discuss how to move forward.

That did not quiet liberal critics, who are worried that even if Mr. Axelrod’s words were hyped, Mr. Obama was clearly giving in without a fight.

“Weakest President America has had since Jimmy Carter,’’ another commenter sniffed. “He does NOT lead, just runs away scared at the first threat from any GOP. W E A K.’’

And once again the WH message gets muddled while President Obama is away overseas and the media & the Republicans do exactly what they want against Obama and now President Obama has to return back to the White House and ONCE AGAIN clarify his position (for the umpteenth time) to the media on this latest political bungle since his inner circle, his cabinet and staff can't seem to do anything right.

And where in the hell is VP Biden? Haven't seen hide nor hair and haven't heard from him since the mid-term elections.


Last edited by Cholly
Well ... unfortunately ... the cold hard truth (that nobody and especially The White House wants to tell) is that the Democrats and the President are about as politically impotent as an 87-year-old man without a Viagra prescription right about now!! 

Neither the House nor the Senate have a mandate - enough votes to automatically pass GAS ... let alone legislation!!  And they know it.  And the Republicans know it.  And that leaves the President pretty much useless to get anything he wants done DONE.

In the House, they have more than enough Democratic members to pass a bill ... however, with the "Blue Dogs" (the name for the Conservative Democrats in the House of Representatives) Democrat leaders cannot depend on the same number of votes as they have bodies in that Chamber.  Which means that NO piece of legislation is guaranteed to pass simply because the Democrats have a majority.

Consider the breakdown of the vote for the health care reform bill.  That bill passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 220-212.  Now ... there are 225 Democrats and 178 Republicans in the House.  (And 4 vacant seats).  EVERY Republican voted "No."  And so did 34 Democrats. .  That bill barely passed ... by 8 votes .. even though the Democrats (technically - in name only) have a 77 seat majority!!

So there is simply no guarantee of a bill getting passed in the House - and I don't know if the President is unwilling or simply incapable of being able to FORCE his will on the "unwilling" members of his (own) Party in the House ... but, for whatever reason ... he (and Nancy Pelosi) were able to only come up with the MINIMAL number of votes to pass that health care bill.  And they may not be able to do even that much when it comes to dropping the tax cuts for the rich and keeping the ones for the middle-class.  And that's just the political reality of our government at work.

Next there is the political chaos that is the chamber of the Senate.  And there's no guarantee of political victory there, either!! In the Senate, there are 57 Democrats and 2 Independents who vote with them!  But ... again ... there are a number of Conservative Democrats who will not necessarily side with the majority .. and therefore, their votes can't be counted on when it comes to passing a bill.

But .. before things even get that far ... by Congressional rules, it takes the agreement of 60 members of the Senate to even get a bill on to the floor to face a vote!  If 60 members don't agree, there IS NO vote on that particular piece of legislation!!  It's dead as a doorknob.  And losing Ted Kennedy's seat + unanimous Republican denial = a big fat chance in HELL of anything of any value happening there!!

UNLESS .... President Obama (and Harry Reid) can collectively pull a rabbit out of their asses and get (every single Democrat + the 2 Independents and) at least 1 Republican to cross the line.  As of right now, they have 2 possible allies .. the two Republican Senators from Maine who tend to be (and vote) fiscally conservative, but socially moderate ... almost liberal, even!!  But they are first and foremost Republicans.  Both of them voted against the health care bill.  But the Dems didn't need them because they still had 60 votes at that time.

But that's the cold, hard reality of where we are in our government at this time.  The Democrats can only PRAY that some of those Democrats and moderate Republicans that were voted out in this last election will want to "get even" and give "parting shots" by supporting them in this upcoming lame duck session.  'Cause as it stands RIGHT NOW ... they are dead in the water!!  And are unable to do anything about it.

Now ... should President Obama be able to twist enough arms, bash enough heads in, cuss enough people out, beg/plead/grovel hard enough, talk to/negotiate/compromise with enough members of his OWN Party in both the House and the Senate (and at least a couple of additional Republicans) to get them to vote with him on the legislation he wants - needs - to get passed??    Yeah .. maybe so.  But can he actually do it???   Well, that's a whole 'nother can of worms all together!!

Yes, he probably should have done it (and didn't) when he had a better chance.  But .. I'm not so sure he didn't try and just couldn't ... given the political make-up and climate of the Congress he has had to deal with over the past 2 years.  And with this new election, the House is pretty much all but dead to him at this point.

And that's just the reality of the situation.  And .. again .. he knows it, both Houses of Congress know it.  Both political parties know it.  And there's not a whole lot that can be done to change it.  Period.  The End.

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