Political Animal

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December 29, 2012 9:45 AM State of Play

By Jesse Singal

Sahil Kapur’s rundown of the current situation in the fiscal cliff impasse/embarrassment is a very useful guide to the politics of the situation. The short version is (still) that Obama has all the leverage. (There are millions of cynical Democrats, of course, who are waiting for him to squander it.)

Also worth a look is this quick NPR piece looking at the prism of the cliff negotiations through the prism of, well, negotiation theory (though I wish the piece did more to tie the experts’ stories into the actual matter at hand).

Jesse Singal is a former opinion writer for The Boston Globe and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. He is currently a master's student at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Policy. Follow him on Twitter at @jessesingal.

Comments

  • c u n d gulag on December 29, 2012 10:25 AM:

    "(There are millions of cynical Democrats, of course, who are waiting for him to squander it.)"

    And dozens of Democrats in DC, more than happy to coach and prod him on how best to do the squandering.

  • zandru on December 29, 2012 10:45 AM:

    I think - and I really don't have a clue about this politics thing, nor this negotiation thing - that if the President can refrain for negotiating with himself, and demand that, if the Repubs want a different deal, they actually PROPOSE one, he will be on strong ground and keep the approval of Americans as a whole.

    Plus, Dems and liberals need to be pushing the news that Repubs demanded $x hundred billion in cuts, but they refused to say what they wanted cut.

  • jjm on December 29, 2012 10:52 AM:

    Democrats' 'cynical' lack of faith in a president who has delivered so much against unprecedented opposition is pretty disgusting.

    Firedoglake started all this anti-Obama bashing and was seconded by HuffPo. Sorry to see it continue cropping up.

  • smartalek on December 29, 2012 9:58 PM:

    "(There are millions of realistic Democrats, of course, who are waiting for him to squander it.)"

    Fixed it for you.
    Anyone who thinks otherwise, I'll be very happy to take any bets you'd care to lay on the subject.

    "Democrats' 'cynical' lack of faith in a president who has delivered so much against unprecedented opposition is pretty disgusting."

    It's not cynical at all, and does not require "faith" -- just respect for facts -- to expect that people who have repeatedly behaved in certain ways under certain circumstances in the past are likely to continue to engage in such ways under similar circumstances in the future*.
    Similarly, to rightfully criticize and challenge people (and groups, and institutions) for their failures is in no way inconsistent with celebrating and supporting their successes.
    People, like life, and are rarely all-black or all-white (as it were) -- especially this President.


    *(Especially when they're already doing so in the present. You did notice that it was Obama, and not any Publican, who has specified proposed cuts to Social Security, yes? As such cuts are almost certainly unnecessary, and brought on not by actual fiscal need, but by the political and personal preferences of the Publicans, the pundit class, and their corporate and wealthy masters, even allowing such into the negotiations is counterproductive. Being the one to introduce them is political malpractice of the highest order.)