White House Undecided On Whether To Let Republicans Walk All Over Them

  stuff is hard

'Should we brace ourselves for a showdown? No, let's play Snake on our phones.'Democrats in Congress were too afraid even to try to pass an extension of the Bush tax cuts for the middle class before the election, because Republicans saying anything at all about Democrats and taxes is very scary! Of course, Republicans still used this anyway, because they have no problem turning anything and everything into “Those guys have raised and will in the future raise your taxes.” But what about the White House? This whole tax cut thing will set the course for their next two years of working with Congress. Well, David Axelrod sat down for a long interview with the Huffington Post last night for no apparent reason, and he said they would probably give in to the Republicans on this. The White House tried to take back Axelrod’s statement this morning, but that’s like swishing an open flesh wound in the water next to an alligator and then kindly asking him to forget about it.

Here’s the strategic genius:

“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.”

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Yeah, that’s kind of hard to take back. And when they try to do just that, it makes it even worse. At least deciding to let Republicans completely grab control of the law-making process and all of the ground at the bargaining table is a concrete resolution, and one that could shift the blame of the sagging economy to the Republican Party. Constant waffling on whether to make this decision is not a concrete resolution. And Republicans will just get what they want, without having to pay any sort of price.

Oh, by the way, Democrats can do this whole tax bullshit too. Let the damn things expire. “The Republicans raised taxes. They were in charge of Congress when it was time to pass them. I was willing to sign it , but apparently they are secret Muslims who hate the middle class.” There you go. 2012 won.

Oh, and it would reduce the deficit. Which may be a good idea at some point! [HuffPo/Plum Line]

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About the author

Jack Stuef is your loyal editor and a freelance satirist or something like that. He is a contributing writer for The Onion. E-mail him or whatever.

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102 comments

    1. Billmatic

      You know, this Administration really is the 2010 Dallas Cowboys. They started off with tremendous hope and positive expectations and instead it's a national embarrassment full of losses.

  1. johnnyzhivago

    My suggestion would be to give the Republicans enough rope – or better yet, piano wire – to hang themselves.

    Alternately, announce the White House will only deal with their leader – Sarah Palin, and only communicate via Twitter.

  2. Oblios_Cap

    We are the Stupid.

    I despair. Everytime this country takes one step up, it seems to actually take five steps back.

    1. BklynIlluminati

      I am so done with this adminstration. Usually crap like this doesn't bother me because I know there is need for comprimise. But these guys didn't even make a token attempt to fuck with these guys. Fuck this shit.

    2. JustPixelz

      Nee how wonketteers.

      Keep up the borrowing and someday China will call the shots. If the wingers think BHO is some kind of commie, wait'll they get a load of Wen Jiabao. He's Mr Xing Wa, if you know what I mean.

  3. Serolf_Divad

    Can't the President step aside and let John Boehner run the country? You know, since apparently the Democrats, despite controlling two of the three branches of government, have decided they might as well let the GOP dictate policy?

    1. SorosBot

      One and a half; the Federal Courts are filled with mostly Reagan, Bush and Bush appointees these days.

  4. SorosBot

    Stop listening to those dumbfucks in the Washington media, administration! If you just hand over your lunch money to the bully every day he'll keep coming back and demanding it again.

  5. Kidneys4Sale

    But will the ankle grip be the traditional Left/Left, Right/Right? Because we might as well go for a crossover because bipartisanship.

  6. Weenus299

    It's going to take a huge, huge soundstage for The View to accommodate the 300 million people who will storm off it in anger.

  7. OneDollarJuana

    "Jen, I have something to tell you. I've just been diagnosed with bipolar disorder."

    Well, me too! I alternate with despair, knowing that the Obama Administration and slime-eel Democrats are going to sell us down the river, and trepidacious optimism, hoping that when we get down the river just enough people in this country will wake up and take back the country from the oligarchs.

  8. SecretMuslin

    I thought when Rahm left he might be replaced by someone who had some goddamned balls. Sadly, this is clearly not the case. Let's just let the Republicans control the narrative – I'm certain the results for our country and for the sad-sack democrats in 2012 will be spectacular. Fuck.

  9. metamarcisf

    Obama finally gets it. If you cut taxes for the rich, they will have more money that they will then invest in businesses and create jobs, eliminating the unemployment problem. What, you ask, why isn't is working already since these enormous tax cuts have been in place for years? You are a left-wing, libtard, marxist son of a bitch who sleeps with your mother. Oh, and Mussolini and Hitler were left-wing dictators.

    1. HistoriCat

      I gave you a thumbs up but think you might want to lay off visiting the right wing sites for a while … your comment is just a little too spot-on.

    2. di_da_is_alpha

      You're right. Fascism IS left wing. Whose bight idea was it to put fascism at one end of the spectrum, and communism at the other, when the two have SO much in common (Hitler and Stalin weren't all that different. Hell, they BOTH had their armies invade Poland in September on 1939, right?). It had to be some left wing, communist apologist and cheerleader, looking to deflect criticism away from their preferred method of oppression.

      What folks are beginning to figure out is that this definition of the political spectrum is severely flawed, and needs to be redefined, as such: At one end, lets say the right end, should be anarchy (with a representative republic just a short step to the left of that), and way down at the other end are all the various forms of BIG OPPRESSIVE GOVERNMENT, like communism, fascism, etc.

      As far as taxes go, better check your Keynesian theory 101 text. Tax increases are used to slow the economy and prevent inflation. I think the last thing we need is to slow the economy, but if QE2 goes through, the inflation just might be unstoppable.

      1. SorosBot

        It was actually the fascists idea to put themselves at the right end of the spectrum, because they were conservatives. You know, they support capitalist private industries, they did not respect individual freedom, were highly jingoistic, extremely religious, and racist, just like modern American conservatives.

        Also: learn basic economics. The purpose of taxes is to raise money so that government can do it's fucking job. We're facing possible deflation here, there is no inflation to worry about, our problem is that there is not enough.

        1. di_da_is_alpha

          Conservatives are not fascists, and it doesn't matter which side fascism is on, as long as it's on the same side with communism and all other forms of government requiring extreme oppression of it's citizens. The Nazis got a lot of their ideas from American progressives of the Wilson era. http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGdW2Co9xMjhAABgJXNyo
          Just keep muddying the waters, it's all your side has left.

          Got an economics book (Essentials of Economics 7th edition, by Bradley R. Schiller, McGraw-Hill; 2009, ISBN-13: 978-0-07- 337580-9) right here in front of me, dumbass. Tax hikes slow the economy, thus curbing inflation (245, 246). Additional revenue take awhile to accomplish, and only then if the economy picks up to it's previous level.

          1. lulzmonger

            Ah, the "Liberal Fascism" meat-dream: Jonah Goldberg's ticket into the pockets of fools.

            Yes, every scholar of the last 70 years was a leftist dupe bought off by Teh Evil Soros Cabal. Conservative doesn't automatically = fascism, but Hitler could never have made it without conservatives – they kept funding him whenever the NSDAP went broke (which was often). The German elite were terrified of the commies & thought they could control him once they put him in power to wipe out trade unions & the left.

            Fascism = nativism, corporate rule. Communism = internationalist, corporations are illegal. Your version of political science = I CAN COUNT TO POTATOE!

            Economics: the dismal science. "Tax hikes slow the economy" just like they did in the 40s & 50s? Or for that matter Reagan's HUGE tax hike in the 80s? You've got the lowest tax rates in living memory in the US right now, & just look at that economy GO!

          2. di_da_is_alpha

            Fascism = Big oppressive government.
            Communism = Big oppressive government.

            You can argue about who pulls the strings, Wall Street or Washington DC, but I prefer to live without the big government bosses pulling my strings.

            So what are you, a puppet (slave), or a wanna be puppet master (slave owner)?

            And if the economy is going strong tax hikes can be overcome. Reagan's tax CUTS in the early 80s had the economy going strong. By the way, the tax increases of Reagan's were supposed to be accompanied by spending cuts promised by Tip O'Neil and the dims in congress, but they didn't happen, hence, a large deficit. Lying dimocrats, what a surprise. So, let's just raise taxes now and see what happens. Anyone with a brain knows that it wouldn't be good.

          3. Beanball

            Sorry, 'communism' means nobody owns anything individually and is an economic – not a political – term. Each individual holds what he has in trust for the community. Lenin, followed by Stalin, hijacked the Russian Revolution and turned the political government into a dictatorship by killing all the "communists." They called it "purging the party." In any case, the word you're looking for is 'totalitarianism,' which takes many forms: pure democracies, tyrants, monarchists, military dictatorships to modern fascisms (there are actually several varieties – Italian, German, Spanish, Brazilian, Chilean, Romanian, et al). All of these governments can have any form of economy under them, although Italian and German fascisms are unique in its use of the national economy as an engine of war. The phrase Liberal Fascism is an oxymoron, and its invention by Jonah Goldberg has polluted the language and obfuscated our problems.

            Fascism as an ideology is syncretic, and should be viewed as a "Third Way," coming up out of the disgruntled bourgeois center, drawing ideas from both ends of the political spectrum. Most scholars deem it an extreme far right movement because it is both collectivist and rigidly authoritarian.

            More specifically, it is always nationalistic as well as obsessed with "national destiny" and racial purity (therefore anti-somebody). Fascism always insists on a one-party state, and thus is anti-democratic. It is militaristic and expansionist, and anti-individual (thus, anti-liberal). It is oftentimes religious but always radically revolutionary (hence, dogmatic but not "conservative"). It may or may not be mildly socialistic (Soviet "Communism" was actually ultra-socialism), but when adopted, social welfare programs are reserved for only the "right" people; browns, Jews, homosexuals and intellectuals need not apply.

            As far as the economy goes, Mussolini's Fascism was corporate/state, but Hitler's was syndicalist, with selected Party member labor leaders participating in collectivist corporate decisions. In any case, the industrial base is geared for war at all times, with civilian benefits secondary (imposition of rationing and all R&D devoted to weapons technology, rather than civilian goodies such as iPods or refrigerators).

            Liberalism, whether conservative or progressive, has none of the above attributes, and nobody here is advocating a dictatorship of anybody, by anybody.

            PS: You should lurk more and post less.

          4. di_da_is_alpha

            When did I say "liberalism"? I said "progressivism", but don't remember saying "liberalism". Not saying that I didn't say it, sometimes I slip up and do, I but I try to differentiate and use "progressivism" where many use the term "liberalism". All these labels are just more "muddying of the waters".

            Good luck with "real" communism ever being the norm. Insect mentality is for insects, not for humans. By your definition, communism is really a form of anarchism. When 8 billion people all agree to live by the golden rule, and personal ambition and wanting to improve one's lot in life are things of the past, you let me know. Until then, I'll continue to live in the real world.

            And enough with the labels, I'm called a "conservative" but that term really doesn't apply to me personally or my political views. Seems to me that the "conservative" stand would be to continue down the road many of the world's governments, including the US federal government, have been on for some time, redistribution of wealth.

            Why should we punish success and reward failure? It won't work, no matter how much the left "hopes" that it will. Everyone should have an equal opportunity, and only a social Darwinist would say that someone is destined to fail because of their race or circumstances at birth. What separates this country from others is freedom, and that freedom is under attack by those searching for personal power by way of making people dependent on them for their very existence.

            PS: Thanx for the advise, but no thanx. I'll post when and where I want.

          5. ImpureScience

            To put the logic straight, conservatives are not (necessarily) fascists, however, fascists are conservatives.

            It's actually more of a circle than a line, and the two ends of the supposed line meet around the back with e.g. Hitler and Stalin, at which there are no particular differences other than PR copy and uniforms.

  10. uncuntstitutional

    Keep handing the Republicans more rope, thinking they will hang themselves with it, and before long they'll have us all hog-tied.

  11. SayItWithWookies

    I'm not worried — if Obama can piss off the Republican House leaders half as much as it did the Democratic ones, the next two years will be a huge success.
    And as far as the damn tax cut thing goes — let the cuts die. Nobody says we have to have them, and (to repeat myself) I didn't notice when the damn cuts went into effect, so they won't be noticed when they're gone. We call them tax cuts for the rich for a reason, remember?

  12. LionelHutzEsq

    The problem is that you have conservative democrats who won't stick with the party, even though they are probably on their way out.

    Still, make it easy. Put up a bill first that continues the cuts for people under $250K, then let the Republicans put up their bill for the rich. Hold two votes. Even if you lose the second vote, it will at least establish who cares primarily for the rich, and who cares for the middle class.

    Now, really, how hard would that be?

    1. the_onceler

      umm, these are Democrats you are talking about. So, the answer to your question is "you're dreaming".

    2. sati_demise

      InsanityHannity, billo, Rush, Glennda, and Brietfart may say mean things.
      That makes it sooooo hard.

    3. bloodandirony

      Don't forget the last step, once both bills are on the President's desk veto the hell out of the second bill.

  13. Extemporanus

    I believe I may be forced to extend some cuts as well — I'm not bleeding out nearly as quickly as I had hoped.

  14. OneDollarJuana

    Actually, the White House decided to let Republicans walk all over them at least two years and one week ago.

  15. MistaEko

    Democrats realize that the Corleone family was playing dead for most of the movie because they were going to violently takeover everything in the last 5 minutes, and that was the whole point of the strategy, right?

  16. hagajim

    Of course they will cave – because that's what Democrats seem to do anymore…cave in like a fucking coal mine in West Virginia….I think they ought to let all of them expire and blame it on the Repugs….but they won't. They'll cave and be pussies and moan about how bad the debt is…fucking irresponsible scrots.

  17. GuyClinch

    I must have missed the plank in the Democratic platform that says "We Will Lie Down and Be Defeatist Masochists"

  18. Lascauxcaveman

    Dear Obama Administration,

    Let the tax cuts expire. We didn't need them in the first place and they have not had the desired and promised economic effect anyway. The little bit more we have to pay will be well worth it to know the rich are finally paying their share again.

    Sincerely,
    The Middle Class

    1. GOPCrusher

      Agreed. They automatically expire on the first of January, let them. For everyone. By the time a Republiklan led House and spineless Senate pass a bill that gets to Obama's signature to reinstate them, the middle class will realize that they really were receiving the snotty end of the fuck stick.

      1. glindsey1979

        If that were on a bumper sticker, it would be the first one I ever put on my car. Of course it would cover the entire length of the bumper, but it would be worth it.

  19. Beowoof

    What is it you call someone who has no balls? Oh yeah, a pussy and it seems the democrats are bunch of big pussies. Thus, until the democrats get over being pussies, those of us in the middle will be screwed again and again. And it won't be a festive fun screwing, it is going to be a brutal rape of my wallet and my rights.

    1. Wadisay

      Did Harry Reid ever "grow a pair" or "man up" or whatever it was Sharon Angle told him to do? 'Cause you would think that if a Repub told him to do it, he actually might.

  20. GeorgiaBurning

    Under "socialist" Obama we have Reagan's taxes, both Bushes' defecits, Nixon's health plan and Hoover's unemployment. I'm reminded of Harry Truman's words that when a Democrat acting like a Republican runs against a Republican, the voters will choose the real Republican every time.

  21. slithytovesss

    "'We have to deal with the world as we find it,' Axelrod said."

    Is that something like "You go to war with the army you have" ?

    Our national motto: "No challenge too big to lie down on."

  22. elviouslyqueer

    Sweet bawling Jeebus. If I had wanted an administration that continually punts on making hard choices, routinely fellates Republicans, and seems inordinately fascinated by the Tea Party, I would've voted for Walnuts/Caribou Barbie back in '08.

  23. mrblifil

    Well after all you don't want people getting the impression that Democrats are the party of stealing people's money from their paychecks in order to fund roving packs of n*****rs that operate out of Mel Gibson's garage do you? Because if that ever happened, it might be very hard for Democrats to gain much political traction going forward.

  24. BarackMyWorld

    This is pretty spineless. They totally have public support on this, but they're still ready to cave.

    Maybe Rahm Emanuel wasn't the one who was the problem.

  25. hooray4anything

    To be fair, this was another thing Obama actually went out and campaigned on and tried to turn it into a rallying cry only to discover that the troops behind him were hiding in the bushes and trees afraid to come out. I think when Axelrod says "world we live in" I think what he means is "handling the fact Democrats are chicken shits."

  26. PuckStopsHere

    Fuck these fucking fucks. Fuck. We just lost a goddamn election on account of we had NO BALLS. And we learned NOTHING, no thing, from said election. We deserve what we are going to get (well, not us, per se, but us as a party). Where's the man I voted for, made phone calls for, knocked on doors for in '08? We should have fucking run Hillary. (And that, fellow commentators, is the meanest thing I can say right now.) I am NOT a happy Democrat today.

    1. SorosBot

      Because people use misleading statistics that ignore all the deductions and tax shelters that result in all the major corporations actually paying no taxes at all. Next easy question?

    2. jakegittes

      If unions are so bad, why haven't you cocksuckers proposed and enacted legislation that bans them? If personal responsibility and paying your way what your values are all about, why haven't you cocksuckers passed legislation that allows ERs to lock their doors to impecunious, uninsured poor people, instead of letting them get treated and have those costs passed on to the middle class in the form of higher and higher and higher premiums and deductibles? You wanna know why? Because you cocksuckers are even bigger pussies than Democrats. Either that, or you are much bigger hypocrites. Either that, or both.

      1. di_da_is_alpha

        I thought we were "tea-baggers"? That would make you the tea-baggies (cocksuckers).

        Enough with the jr high insults.

        We're not "anti-union", unions have a time and a purpose, but when the union becomes an entity in and of itself, it becomes self severing and needs to be either destroyed, or scaled back to the size and purpose for which it was intended.

        Do you really think the unions have helped out the workers that they claim to care about by making promises that can't be kept? How does bankrupting the company make things better for the employee?

        And we're not against helping folks who need help. The government can provide vouchers to the truly poor. The biggest problem with our healthcare industry is a lack of market forces. Let insurance companies sell across state lines. Encourage young people to purchase major medical policies. If people would pay cash for routine dr. visits, costs would drop, third party involvement, whether an insurance co. or the government, means higher prices.

        1. jakegittes

          You don't want the government to provide vouchers to the truly poor. That's socializm, you fuckhead. You do like the fact that allowing the impecunious and the uninsured to show up at the ER for medical care ultimately causes those costs to be distributed out to . . . . the Middle Class, who you fuckheads would like to tax, to charge, and unemploy into submission.

          And when was the last time any of your unctious ilk ever had anything good to say about a union? If you had your way, there would be no unions because anything that might result in your precious bottom lines being impinged you'd like to have outlawed. Don't forget. According to one of your lead spokespersons, Mr. Beck, unions are communist.

          1. di_da_is_alpha

            Where's the proof of your silly claims? Youtube video? Anything? I'll be waiting for a post with more substance than you claiming to know what's in my heart and mind, because from your post, it's obvious that you don't know, and it scares the hell out of you. ; )

          2. di_da_is_alpha

            Heheheh The truth comes out !!!!! Such compassion and open mindedness !!!!

            So tell me, what are your favorite firearms? I've got a few, we can compare notes.

          3. di_da_is_alpha

            You know my name? Really? Maybe you are psychic, but if you can "conjure" my name, how can you be so wrong about everything else?

            And by the way, anthrax isn't a "firearm", it can be used as a weapon, but it's not a firearm. I was thinking more along the line of comparing the ballistics of a 30.06 to a .308 to a 7mm, or even a .303. Or comparing an AR-15 to a mini-14. How about 9mm to a .45 or a .40 cal.

          4. jakegittes

            How about a hijacked airplane? A dirty bomb? A car bomb?

            Weapons. Arms. What's the difference? Or are you going to start up some sort of debate about constitutional originalism and what our founding fathers really meant by the term "bear arms?"

            This is the Brave New World that you neo-Feudalists/Fascists are fashioning. Get used to it.

          5. di_da_is_alpha

            Here's some anthrax I could get used to…….
            http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGdSG15d1M_AAAwPVXNyo

            I'm not sure about biological weapons, but chemical weapons are against the Geneva Convention, so I imagine that biologicals are out too. So are hollow point bullets, hence the use of .556 ammo. You still don't seem to be able to grasp the term "firearms", so I'll just let you slide.

            And as far as your claim of my being a "neo-Feudalists/Fascist", you couldn't be more wrong, but you'll just have to see for yourself in the coming years. See you in November of 2012. ; )

  27. Not_So_Much

    Yes, these slightly lower marginal rates have been a whopping job creation success for the last ten years. It would be insane to fuck with them now.

  28. GlowneyHouse

    It seems Obama has heard Real America's criticism of his radical position of not being white or Republican. Axelrod is just working out a compromise.

  29. JustPixelz

    Excellent point Jack. Repubicans wrote this law, Bush signed it, they all campaigned on it in 2002, 2004, etc. Now it's time for them to own up to their decisions. But they believe in mythical Laffer curves, not inconvenient "arithmetic".

    1. GOPCrusher

      And don't forget the millions of jobs that have been created since the tax cuts took effect. In China and India.

  30. Ducksworthy

    Axelrod's genius long term strategy is to let the country return to the Hobbesian nightmare represented by the New GOP and then in 2012, return USAmurikans to the living conditions of the 9th century. Just to get even.

  31. Ducksworthy

    I just emailed the White House and explained to them what they could expect from me in the way of contributions in 2012 if they roll over on this.

    Slightly OT but somebody in the office just gave me a copy of some twat at the WSJ's article called Tracking Your Federal Tax dollars. The biggest items were SS, Medicare, Medicaid and Interest on the debt. But all the war costs were itemized so they were much smaller. Like Wars was one thing, military personel was another, weapons still another then military research and testing, va benefits, va health care etc. Whey I added them up and handed it back to him the military costs were second only to social security. Proving once again that figures don't lie but liars figure.

  32. sati_demise

    Just stop it! srsly, Stop It Mr. Executive Branch!

    Stop negotiating away your biggest negotiating point before the negotiations begin, stupid fuckers.

  33. mrbubb

    So, in short, today's news is that the Democrats, who already lost their elections and are lame ducks anyway, and Obama, who if anything should have gotten the message that the base wants him to be *different* than the Republicans, can't manage to let the tax cuts expire.

    In short: DEMOCRATS CAN FUCK UP THE ACT OF DOING NOTHING.

  34. WriteyWriterton

    I suppose it could be argued – COULD be argued, by someone with brain cells that haven't balled themselves into a fetal position – that raising taxes/allowing taxes to rise during a recession is anti-Keynesian, contra-indicated by economic conditions, what-the-fuck-ever, but that's not the point here. Raising taxes only on the rich, however, but not the rest of us, would mitigate any adverse effects. And send a political message.

    But these cowards – our cowards, MY cowards, the ones I helped put in the White House – won't argue that. They'll just cave, cave, cave.

  35. ImpureScience

    I keep hoping that this is another example of inscrutable Vulcan Aikido rope-a-dope magic but I do have to say that this is the kind of stuff that makes Democrats stay home for the midterms with a bottle of scotch when they should be voting (rant RE assholes who need to be excited to vote skipped here.) Someone up there in the WH should catch on to the fact that standing up on your hind legs and fighting occasionally looks sexy to your followers and motivates them to come out and vote.

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