President Barack Obama talks on the phone in the Oval Office, Dec. 28, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

“…cutting programs that are really important to seniors, students and so forth. That has to be part of the mix…” – President Barack Obama [on Meet the Press]

AND THERE it is, close to the same thing floated in the summer of 2011 made explicit at the end of 2012.

Everyone reading here isn’t surprised, because you’ve been warned again and again this was coming.

…and right on cue, the Politico headline “Fiscal cliff: Major progress toward deal,” as if this wasn’t always going to be the case.

Ezra Klein provides the irony, with the most densely packed, laugh out loud lunacy you’ll see from the White House stenographer, who slaps Senator Marco Rubio around for invoking President Obama on entitlement cuts without once placing blame on the Democratic Party leader for serving up the notion in the first place.

Jonathan Chait needs smelling salts, because President Obama has given ground on taxes, moving to $450,000 limit, compliments of dealmaker Joe Biden, who’s sitting down with his pal Mitch McConnell.

The erosion signals not only a major substantive problem in its own right, but it also raises disturbing questions about Obama’s ability to handle his entire second term agenda.

One thing that everyone misses about the signal to send in Joe Biden is that this guy is a Senate veteran and what he does is make deals, which never are predicated on Democratic principles, but instead are about giving the other side their due so everyone comes off with their ideological purpose served. It’s the very essence of bipartisanship, whether good policy is decided upon or not, which is never the priority.

What happens now is up to besieged progressive activists, who are a minority in the Democratic caucus, facing a national media ignorant on economics and backed by Wall Street interests of the companies for whom they work, ignorant Democratic voters who allowed this to happen in the first place by not putting more pressure on Obama before he was reelected, and a majority elite Democratic establishment who’s already signaled they back entitlement cuts before dealing with Pentagon bloating and the very real issue of jobs and growth, led by a man in the White House who doesn’t have to run for office ever again.

Happy New Year.