House Democrats Defy Obama on Tax Cut Bill


Far left PBS journalist Tavis Smiley, appearing on MSNBC in January of 2009:

Harry Reid, put down the crack pipe. You don’t work for Barack Obama? We’re all working for Barack Obama.

CNN, today:

Defying President Obama, House Democrats voted Thursday not to bring up the tax package that he negotiated with Republicans in its current form.

"This message today is very simple: That in the form that it was negotiated, it is not acceptable to the House Democratic caucus. It's as simple as that," said Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen.

"We will continue to try and work with the White House and our Republican colleagues to try and make sure we do something right for the economy and right for jobs, and a balanced package as we go forward," he said.

The vote comes a day after Vice President Biden made clear to House Democrats behind closed doors that the deal would unravel if any changes were made.

The vote also comes less than an hour after Obama himself urged Congress to pass the compromise he struck with GOP leaders earlier this week and warned that failing to do it could cost jobs.

Jennifer Rubin observes Robert Reich's four feet and ten inches of fury at the president's rare moment of common sense and responds:

I don't agree with Reich on the merits, but he sure does have the narrative correct. It's as if Ronald Reagan entered office and announced unilateral disarmament -- his most loyal supporters would have considered it not only dangerous policy but a personal betrayal. In other words, Brooks should hardly be surprised that Robert Reich Democrats are enraged as they watch their devoutly held economic precepts go down the drain -- under a liberal president, no less.

As Jennifer wrote earlier in her post, a big part of the outrage from the left is that they've never embraced a dynamic understanding of tax policy:

For 30 years the Democrats have refused to think "dynamically" about the connection between tax rates and economic behavior (or, for that matter, between regulation and business activity). It is precisely because liberal Democrats (who are particularly well represented in Congress) have rejected dynamic tax policy for so long that they are now experiencing a spasm of frustration and anger.

It's not easy coming to grips with the 21st century, when your view of taxes, labor and the economy is permanently stuck somewhere between the years of FDR and Harry Truman. Or as Stacy McCain dubs it watching Keith Olbermann of MSNBC in full Olberspaz mode, "Murthanomics:"

Elsewhere, I’ve described this resentful class-warfare mentality — the politics of envy – as "Murthanomics." It is the exact opposite of sound economics, and is the sentiment that elects to office demagogues.

To watch Olbermann indignantly lecturing the President of the United States in this manner is a delightful smorgasbord of schadenfreude for Republicans watching the Left turn upon its own fallen hero. This is the misery inflicted on Democrats by the Republican mandate of winning 242 House seats in the mid-term elections.

Yet the fact that Olbermann speaks for tens of millions of his fellow Democrats, still trapped within the hate-filled darkness of their economic ignorance, is in fact a tragedy. And we should not gloat.

Oh, what the hell. Who am I kidding? Let’s gloat our asses off!

In between Reich and Olbermann and a lame duck Congress freaking out over a possibly (but certainly not necessarily) lame duck president, Stacy spots additional meltdowns in the studios of MSNBC: "First Olbermann smacks Obama, then Maddow smacks Obama, now O’Donnell smacks Grayson — clearly someone at MSNBC has figured out which way the political winds are blowing."

Though the lame duck Congress is determined to hold off all of the winds of change until next month, it seems.