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Obama bought himself time
  by Gene Lyons


If anybody wanted to erect a statue of President Obama after his first two years, the unofficial
White House motto should be engraved on the base: "Thank you, Sir. May I have another?"

To liberal Democrats, Obama's putative bargain with Republican leaders extending the Bush
millionaires' tax cuts for two years amounted to craven surrender. Is there nothing this president
will fight for? Has his vision of himself as a transformative figure, his sheer narcissism, made him
confuse the rough-and-tumble of Washington with the genteel precincts of the Harvard Law Review?

Or did he simply get rolled? Blackmailed? Bullied into submission by ruthless adversaries who see
his conciliatory efforts as a sign of weakness? The left-leaning Huffington Post headline read:
"Obama Caves, the Rich Save."..

Maybe it's because I'm lucky enough to have a decent job, and maybe because I never envisioned
Obama as a political messiah to begin with, but an awful lot of this commentary strikes me as overwrought.

But what about the politics of the thing?

If the White House gave up something that, realistically speaking, it had already lost in the
November elections, GOP leaders made big concessions, too. By bargaining with Obama,
they made it harder to portray him as a Socialist Demiurge out to destroy capitalism.
They conceded him a legitimacy the professional right has denied him for two years.

I don't know - is that a victory?
Getting the other side to admit you might not be the anti-Christ?

For sure, Gene's no Obama apologist and he's almost always right.

Who knows?  Maybe he'll turn out to be right on this...


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