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Obama: ‘If you read the Huffington Post you’d think I was some right-wing tool of Wall Street.’

Rebecca Theiss of the liberal Economic Policy Institute told The Hill she opposes the Reid-McConnell compromise since it appears to involve only spending cuts and not tax increases.Budget experts raise concerns over McConnell debt-limit fallback plan


(h/t David Dayen)

It seems Huffington Post has hit a nerve.

David Plouffe pulled out a video from a lecture Pres. Obama gave to students in March, as the debt ceiling talks head into the final stretch. It revolves around the notion that “compromise isn’t a dirty word.” In the Obama era, invoking Democratic principles, ones candidate Obama pledged he’d protect, is.

But don’t take “Morning Joe” as an example. With Harold Ford, Jr. and Ed Rendell trying to cover for Pres. Obama’s Democratic collapse, it’s an embarrassment of bloviating we get from Democratic talking heads. Even Lawrence O’Donnell, not a Democrat but attempting to help the President, has embarrassed himself by saying Pres. Obama doesn’t really believe in cuts to entitlements, while he turns himself in knots in political analysis that belies the facts.

Candidate Barack Obama in May 2007, a quote I reference often, though when he made it I was one of the only ones to do so:

I think that I have the capacity to get people to recognize themselves in each other. I think that I have the ability to make people get beyond some of the divisions that plague our society and to focus on common sense and reason and that’s been in short supply over the last several years. I’m not an ideologue, never have been. Even during my younger days when I was tempted by, you know, sort of more radical or left wing politics, there was a part of me that always was a little bit conservative in that sense; that believes that you make progress by sitting down listening to people, recognizing everybody’s concerns, seeing other people’s points of views and then making decisions.” — Barack Obama (on ABC’s “This Week”)

There remains no reason for any Democrat to compromise using the McConnell plan, which is turning in to the diabolically devious plan I said it was when it came out. Having Obama lifting the debt ceiling over the next year and one-half, during the election cycle, with the debt continually the focus, instead of jobs and the economy, while he gets no tax revenue or increases for his caving, plays right into the ideological wingnuttery of Republicans, simultaneously disavowing Democratic principles and progressive economics.

There remains no reason for any Democrat to support Pres. Obama deciding to serve up Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as a gift to Republicans to raise the debt ceiling.

When push comes to shove, the debt ceiling will be raised and it should be raised on clean debt ceiling legislation without compromising on Democratic ideals, which Pres. Obama did while getting nothing in return.

This is a difficult process, and it means Republicans and Democrats need to step outside their political comfort zone and find some common ground – the President is willing to make tough cuts with real impacts, not easy decisions. – David Plouffe

David Plouffe talks about “tough cuts with real impacts” as a laudatory move, while forgetting that Pres. Obama is asking Democrats to burden the least who can handle it.

Pres. Obama’s compromise was to serve up entitlements as “sacred cows” without the Republicans offering any compromise or sacrifice on taxes and revenues. That’s not smart leadership that’s caving on Democratic ideals for the sake of a deal that hurts Americans you pledged you’d protect.

But the most embarrassing part of this outreach from the White House is the self-serving, self-defensive, self-indulgent nature of Pres. Obama’s patter.

It’s not about compromise.

Compromise means both sides give in equally on things that matter to them. That’s not what’s happening in the debt ceiling negotiations. Not even close.

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