Political Bargaining: I Want A Pony, But I'll Take That Pen

Peter Griffin: First, I will return Joe's pool. In exchange, I demand access to it on alternate weekends.

Joe: No.
Peter: Accepted. I also demand to remain my own independent nation.
Mayor Adam West: Absolutely not.
Peter: How about you just give me your pen?
Mayor Adam West: You mean this cheap little pen we have millions of back at the office?
Peter: Yeah.
Mayor Adam West: No - Family Guy Petoria episode

Jon Cohn on the Peter Orszag School of Bargaining:

If it were merely a matter of economics, Orszag is saying, then it would make sense to extend only those tax cuts that benefit lower- and middle-income workers--and to do so temporarily, letting even those cuts lapse once the economy is stronger. But [. . .] Orszag thinks it would be worth giving Republicans an extension of those tax cuts, too, as long as the Republicans agree to keep all of the tax cuts temporary. Itís fair to ask whether such a deal could hold. [. . .] Itís also fair to ask whether, as a very recently departed member of the administration, Orszag should be making strategic proposals at odds with the White House bargaining position--which, as Sam Stein notes at Huffington Post, is to oppose any extension of tax cuts for the wealthy, even as a hold-your-nose kind of compromise.

Heh. You think Cohn? Maybe President Obama could announce the same position? Beyond that, the reality is the Bush Tax Cuts will expire if nothing is done. Dems need only propose middle class tax cuts. Let the GOP and the Blue Dogs vote against them. Let's put it this way, if Dems can not bargain from THIS position, the party should just fold.

Speaking for me only

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    But Obama says he won't use the veto... (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Susie from Philly on Wed Sep 08, 2010 at 08:52:08 AM EST
    If the Dems get a "compromise" (i.e. give Republicans whatever they want) on this issue.

    Which means ... we're going to get an extension of the Bush tax cuts.

    Let's face it (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by MO Blue on Wed Sep 08, 2010 at 09:28:16 AM EST
    The "so called commpromise" means that Obama and the very savvy businessmen in Congress save money on their taxes either as congresscritters or lobbyists in January.

    Ugh (none / 0) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 08, 2010 at 08:59:30 AM EST
    Going to look for a link now.  So he's going to do it to me again?  He is going to say he is for something that he peons are for, but send the House and the Senate out with a mission to come home with something different.  I've been here and done this with him and you would think that he would notice that none of us are buying that he isn't complicit.

    Beg to differ! (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Sep 08, 2010 at 10:34:36 AM EST
    My father in law buys it, hook, line, sinker.

    "Obama wants to do what's right.  He says so in his speeches....but the Republican Congress won't let him" he says.

    Republican Congress?  Hello?  Father in Law must be living in a post-November world?  Or is he simply delusional?  The latter is just as easy to believe as the former.

    Although Father in Law is a "good Democrat," he also joined an extremely right wing church recently....Why?  Because his past church is now allowing gay pastors. Not that they've ever had any gay pastors, just the principle of allowing them ever was enough to force the "good Democrat" to a right wing church. His new church doesn't allow gays or women to be pastors.  Such an extreme change suggests he's terrified of anything that violates the tenets of his belief -- that we'll go to h*ll if we allow gay pastors.

    I think the Dems who believed in the Dems on faith are still buying it. It would violate the powerful tenets of their beliefs to do anything else.


    I read it too sadly (none / 0) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 08, 2010 at 10:54:24 AM EST
    Over at Orange...giant screeds of the selective memories and rewritten histories, large hunks of happy crapola :)

    I'm just not that hungry though :)


    Here's a (none / 0) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 08, 2010 at 09:05:59 AM EST
    I can't believe we are going to see a repeat (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by ruffian on Wed Sep 08, 2010 at 08:57:28 AM EST
    of the HCR debate, in which the WH position is never carved out in public and Congress and editorialists and anonymous WH officials via Politico float ideas for 6 months. I'm really not sure I can handle it.

    Was there even one Dem candidate who did NOT say they planned to let the Bush tax cuts expire? As BTD says, this is such a no-brainer they do not deserve to exist as a party if they can't leverage that unified position.

    Yup here we go again (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 08, 2010 at 09:00:48 AM EST
    And Obama was for a public option just like he is for the rich paying their fair share while the rest of us embrace austerity.

    Let's just hope it's a 'quickie' (none / 0) (#9)
    by nycstray on Wed Sep 08, 2010 at 09:38:02 AM EST
    this time around . . . .

    Am I the only one who wonders if Orszag (5.00 / 5) (#8)
    by Anne on Wed Sep 08, 2010 at 09:34:00 AM EST
    is the stalking horse for what Obama really wants to do?  Or are we to believe that one of the reasons Orszag left the WH is because he and Obama do not agree on this rather major philosophical point?

    If all we had to go on was just this issue, I could possibly make myself believe that this is Orszag v. Obama, and with Obama the one in the WH, Obama wins.  But that isn't all we have to go on; it's not the only issue where we have had this kind of public debate that turned out not to be a debate at all but a strategy designed to disguise the real plan and the eventual result.

    Health Whatever was the template for pretty much all that has followed, and I can't speak for anyone else, but having seen, over and over, what that means, I'm just not willing to fall for it - and neither should anyone else be.  The problem is that I'm not sure all the pointed questions and feet-to-the-fire efforts in the world could force the truth out of these people any sooner than they want to reveal it - which, if the pattern holds, will be at the point where the fix is absolutely in, there's nothing we can do about it, and all that's left is for the chest-beating and indignant blatherings of all the House and Senate Dems who "tried" to make it turn out differently.  I just love it when the fighting starts after the battle has been lost, don't you?  Such courage, it's just breathtaking.

    The sacrificial lamb, I'm afraid, is going to be the social safety-net programs.  The eventual extension of the tax cuts will be the excuse to "pay for" them with cuts in benefits, even though none of these programs should even be part of the conversation.  

    If this is what's in the future, God help us.

    The recently departed Christine Romer (none / 0) (#14)
    by oculus on Wed Sep 08, 2010 at 03:42:56 PM EST
    also mentioned keeping the tax cuts for the wealthy--for awhile.

    The news this morning (none / 0) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 08, 2010 at 09:18:06 AM EST
    is making it sound like Obama is now going to go toe to toe with John Boehner on their "economic" plans.  And I guess, based on this false equivalency, team Obama already has the plan in to fold on "tax hikes".

    My President, easily bested by the spray tan man.  Boy that spray tan man is potent, if I liked spray tan men I'd be instantly energized to get a few more such potent politicians voted in immediately :(

    that's Speaker Spray Tan Man to you! (none / 0) (#12)
    by ruffian on Wed Sep 08, 2010 at 12:32:12 PM EST
    I think they like the idea of spray tan man as a foil going into the 2012 election. Not going to do any good in the short term, unfortunately.

    Nope (none / 0) (#13)
    by jbindc on Wed Sep 08, 2010 at 01:47:54 PM EST
    A true leader with good ideas wouldn't need to go to Ohio to answer charge for charge coming from Boehner.  A true leader with good ideas could ignore Boehner as an annoying fly, and go out and sell his own plan, instead of being seen as a reactionary.

    This is a position of weakness.  Reminds me of that old cartoon (I think a Looney Tunes one) -"Put up yah dukes!  C'mon!  Put up yah duuuuukes!"