SO maybe it's just me, but when "House Democrats in an Uproar" is the lead story on the network news my immediate reaction is "Who needs to tell the story that way?" rather than, say, "Yeah!" Maybe that's mostly a mark of just how long it's been since Congressional Democrats were in an uproar about anything. Or even a dullroar. Not Gitmo, "extraordinary rendition", wholesale spying on Americans. Not Abu Ghraib, not the utterly incompetent aftermath of the invasion of Iraq, not the war profiteering and missing billions that accompanied it. Not the war itself, or the mendacious run-up that led to it, or its own leadership's inept performance in scheduling an authorization vote just before midterms. Not the war itself. Not the shoddy protective vests and unarmored Humvees that cost American lives, not the cluster bombing, not the senseless destruction of Fallujah after everyone but civilians had left. Not the transparent news manipulation that surrounded Jessica Lynch or Pat Tillman, R.I.P. Not collusion between Dick Cheney and Judy Miller. Not the brusque incompetence in missing "bin-Laden Determined To Strike US". Not the Cheney Energy Giveaways. Not the execrable No Child Left Behind, or the political payoffs of Faith Based Boondoggling. Not even the election of 2000 or the pornographic Court decision that sealed it.
Not the Vandalgate/Pardongate/Giftgate bullshit. Not the juvenile coverage of the Gore Campaign on the public airwaves. Not the hunting of Bill Clinton, not the five Federal investigations of Whitewater, or the two illegal extensions of Ken Starr's mandate, politically timed. Not the sliming of Gore's fundraising by a committee which adjourned sine die just before it was scheduled to look at Republican fundraising. Not Travelgate, RoseLawFirmgate, or the Vince Foster hit. Not the collusion between the licensed, tax-free beggars of the religious right and Clinton Scandals, Inc. Not the S&L scandals. Not the racist Republican campaign of 1988, nor the gutting of the Fairness Doctrine and relaxation of media ownership rules that helped facilitate it.
In fact the last time I recall anything that resembled a large-scale Democratic Congressional grumble was the early days of Iran/Contra, before they learned that Reagan really was culpable and brain-bubbled, which destroyed the party atmosphere. Can't take on the Great Communicator. Let's make a right-wing media star of some crazy Looey Bird Marine (but I repeat myself!) instead.
Krugman's got a nice piece up about how bass-ackwards the Deal is for the White House from a political perspective.
And whatever you have to say fer or agin the Obama administration, there's this: how in the world does anyone get the timing so wrong? Inherited disaster, sure. That much was clear, even to Centrist Democrats, by 2006. What did you think you were running for? The Bush/Cheney administration encouraged the recession of 2001, as it gave them some bit of economic bad news to blame on the otherwise charmed Bill Clinton. Unquestionably, encouraging or even failing to try to stop the global financial meltdown of 2008 would have been irresponsible well beyond the point of criminality, not that "criminality" and "President" weren't firmly established at that point as nestling in the same pod. That, then, left the opposite tack, the one that should have/ would have been at the top of most other lists: Do Something Seriously Fucking Dramatic. And instead he called a big confab of…Republicans. From which he got Less than Zero, which resulted in…insisting bipartisanship was some sort of magic amulet he'd work on the public by…not showing up to fight for anything. He had FDR as a model--I want this shit done in 100 days, or I'm closing every cracker-state military base for two years to pay for these wars I inherited--but he had to be Reagan. It's just hard to fathom who argued for it. This is the sort of thing which ruins long-running teevee series: contracts come back up, and all the actors start demanding to write their own characters and story arcs. This Presidency started--in the middle of utter shit--with Obama trying to figure out which profile he should use on his stamp.
And now it's "Give Republicans everything they want, now, and maybe they'll like me enough to not defeat me too badly in 2012." Fuck it, we're goddam doomed. There's serious unemployment in Indiana, despite the best Miracles Mitch has to offer, and people are suffering. I don't want to see anyone lose what paltry sums they get in extended unemployment. But for fuck's sake: in one month's time this is the Republican's problem. Right now it is de facto their problem, since everyone has believed, for some reason, that 40% of the Congress controls everything if it yells loud enough. Healthcare, whenever that's scheduled to start, can be blamed on the President. For the rest of it, fuck, it's already a Republican economy. It's been a Republican economy from the moment they pinned the Bush administration bailouts on Democrats. You cannot lose at this point, Mr. President, by doing shit. Shit other than "compromising". Unless you think looking more incompetent than totally incompetent is some real worry.