This is probably not the best way to head into an election season:
"Come on, got any other jokes?" cracked Representative Peter DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat, when asked if Obama bargained hard in negotiations with congressional Republicans [on the debt ceiling deal].

..."There was caving this time," said Representative Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat. "Why don't you think there would be caving next time?"

...Representative Jesse Jackson Jr., an Illinois Democrat who has a close relationship with Obama, said the president made "a profound mistake" in signaling to Republicans that programs for the elderly and the poor are on the table for cutting.

"It's clear to us we're going to have to go to the mat for those people -- as we have been doing -- by ourselves and not necessarily with the support of the administration," he said, referring to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security recipients.
Jesse Jackson, Jr. does not just have "a close relationship with Obama"; he was the co-chair (and frequent hit-man) of Obama's '08 presidential campaign. It is profoundly concerning to me as a progressive, and as a voter, when an ally and colleague of Obama's like Jackson is expressing reservations about the president's commitment to defending the social safety net (even taking into consideration the Jackson family's penchant for opportunism and grudgery). Jackson is hardly a one-man choir on this subject, unfortunately.

This Herbert Hoover horseshit has got to stop. I don't want a Republican in the White House—not in the "Obama's doing Bob Dole's presidency" way but in the "one of the scary-ass extremists running for the GOP ticket" way. And I fervently believe that the only way to prevent that is for Obama to move left, not right.

If he keeps ceding ground to the Republicans, he can't complain when voters decide, "Well, hell, if he thinks Republican ideas are so fucking great, we might as well vote in a Republican." Our Democratic president needs to be the alternative.

No one cast a vote for a centrist arbitrator.

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