Listening to the NPR news yesterday morning had me struggling to find the right word for what I was feeling. Exasperated sounded about right, but not nearly strong enough. That eventually got me to checking a thesaurus which suggested aggravated, annoyed, irritated, galled, peeved, put out, riled, and vexed (among others). Individually, these words again didn't sound strong enough. Perhaps I should use them all together. Or maybe I should just graduate to outraged.
The target of all this venom is Obama and his deal to keep the income taxes of the rich at the low rates passed under Bush. Yeah, he says he got a lot of tax benefits for the middle class and the poor out of the deal (not just the Bush era cuts) and even got the unemployment benefits extended for 13 months (while the rich get to keep their cuts for 24 months). And, he whines, it was the best deal he could get.
It may be the best deal he could get now only because he boxed himself into a corner and had long ago thrown away his best assets. Those assets were the huge army of progressives and independents who voted him into office in 2008, ready to do battle for him against his foes. Alas, he told them to sit down and shut up. So they did. He could have easily said, "Fellow Americans, we must preserve the tax cuts for the middle class and we can't afford the tax cuts for the rich. Call your senator and ask them to help both the economy and the deficit." Perhaps if he hadn't exasperated his base so completely he wouldn't be facing a hostile House in January.
Since the election I've been predicting the GOP was going to flatten Obama. I didn't think it would happen before the new Congress was sworn in. I also didn't think the flattening would be so thorough. Obama whined that one doesn't negotiate with hostage takers unless someone is about to be injured and working Americans were about to take a hit. But all he did was to show the GOP how effective their tactics can be. Hold the poor hostage and Obama will cave. Meaning Obama is already politically impotent and there is two years to go.
I'm pleased to see that there are many Dems similarly outraged and ready to stand up to the GOP. I'm glad somebody has a spine. Alas, they also see the head of their party as damaged goods. Obama's approval rating and the results of the last election mean that many Americans figured that out a long time ago.
I'm especially pleased at Keith Olbermann's 12 minute chastisement. He says it a lot more completely, eloquently, vehemently, and devastatingly than I could. He explains how, after annoying his base, Obama could still have pulled it off. Olbermann even mentioned the possibility that Obama may not be nominated again. Hmm, Obama compared to Neville Chamberlain.