Ronald Reagan famously quipped that the Democratic Party left him before he left the party. Like many progressive supporters of Barack Obama, I’m beginning to have the same feeling about this president.Katrina vanden Heuvel

It was a compendium of Obamaisms, with a flash of petulant anger aimed at the Left. Naturally.

The question at the start of the video from Marc Ambinder was dead on, challenging the President on what leverage he might have going forward on the debt ceiling considering how he caved on tax cuts. (Exactly zero.)

“I’ll take John Boehner at his word….” Yeah, because trusting Republicans has worked out so well before on economics.

“I’ve got lots of lines in the sand.” …and he keeps tripping over them one at a time.

“This is the public option debate all over again.” Throw in a “purist position,” with a side of “sanctimonious” for all of you Democrats and progressives out there who get tripped up on your silly Democratic principles.

It was President Petulant at this point, his ego bared through his gleaming teeth, a moment when he finally filled out his suit, because his hubris was having a hissy fit that Democrat still aren’t genuflecting at his feet for passing a crap health care bill that brought down the Democratic majority, washed out the industrial Midwest of Democrats, and has Virginia, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Missouri and Ohio tilting Right.

That this book smart man doesn’t understand that caving on unemployment benefit extensions was a must for Republicans in the end reveals just how deep Barack Obama’s end of the pool is at this point. There is no way Republicans could survive the blowback of stiffing the unemployed at Christmas, because the local news stories alone would have buried them. This is political theater 101, something that Obama still hasn’t mastered after two fricking years.

However, the Republicans needn’t worry, because Pres. Obama will cover the Right’s ass every time.

Democrats are sick of it. Landrieu calling the Obama-McConnell plan “almost morally corrupt.”

“It’s what I’m calling the Obama-McConnell plan. We’re going to borrow $46 billion from the poor, from the middle class, from businesses of all sizes basically to give a tax cut to families in America today, that despite the recession, are making over a million dollars. I mean, this is unprecedented. Unprecedented. I want to repeat that,” she said. Landrieu added, however, that she had yet to make a decision on the final package and was speaking strictly about the extension of tax cuts for the wealthy.
Landrieu put the tax cuts in the context of the poverty and joblessness facing African Americans across the country. “The median net worth of African-American families — net worth, not income — in this country today, according to our census, is $5,000. You want me to repeat that? $5,000. So we are borrowing money from constituencies, and large segments of the population like this,” said Landrieu. “I want you all to get your heads around this.”

Obama had allies in the Senate who would have fought the extension of the tax cuts, Landrieu said, if only he had relied on them. “Why the president didn’t think there were forty or fifty or sixty of us to defend him on this principle, I don’t know, but he basically didn’t think anybody of us cared much about it. Well, I want him to know I do care.”

It’s conventional wisdom in Washington that Pres. Obama punching the Left plays well. It’s amateur political thinking, but there’s a lot of that around here. But today even the vaunted insider David Gergen said on CNN, after Wolf Blitzer regurgitated the thought, that it’s a mistake for Obama to do that on this point. It reminded Gergen of what happened to Bush 41 when he punched his right-wing base on taxes. That whole thing didn’t work out well for Daddy Bush, as I recall.

This post has been updated.