It has been interesting watching all of the reactions to the proposed compromise on the Bush tax cuts. There is the utter indignation on the left, and there is a surprisingly muted (in public anyway) triumphalism on the right. And in the middle, of sorts, is President Obama. Personally, I think that he negotiated the best deal he could get, considering Obama's negotiation and political skills (which are vastly different from his campaigning skills). I also think that the Democratic Party's reaction to this situation is a bit disingenuous, when one considers that this whole issue could have been dealt with prior to the November elections. Yet, fear of what happened anyway prevented the Congressional Democrats from tackling an issue that they could have attempted to settle.
But I don't want to use this post simply to beat up on Democrats, though for various and sundry reasons they deserve their licks. I would be remiss without noting that I find Congressional Republicans to be utterly repugnant, and "repugnant" is not even a good term to express my true feelings. My respect for that lot, is gone, and without some sort of divine intervention, that respect will not return. I think that the President was correct in his framing this issue as a hostage crisis. I certainly feel that the GOP has held the nation hostage simply because that party does not believe that elections matter when they lose. Now, of course, elections matter; they regained control of the House, and built their minority numbers within the Senate. Of course that reality means that even less will get done before the '12 elections.
And I remain floored that we have people who are more than comfortable saying that the unemployed, if they receive help, will not have the desire to look for a job, that they will feel more comfortable getting a check from the government, rather than a check from an employer. Only someone who has never experienced long term unemployment could imagine such a thing (and I am sure that every conservative has heard the story of the lazy person living large on his/her unemployment, and refusing to bother to look for a job, because they have it so good).
I think that we have abandoned a number of our principles for the love of money. To me, it is that simple. We revere the rich, from Warren Buffet to Paris Hilton. We have one political party that will do everything possible to ensure that the rich, whether something trickles down or not, will get their out of size share of everything that generates income. We have another political party that is desperate to follow in the footsteps of its competitor, but has that pesky history of actually trying to help people (and people actually believe it).
I could go on about this, but I won't, right now.