It’s been fascinating to watch the left’s emotional roller-coaster these past few weeks. It’s also been fascinating to watch Obama out-run them, and to observe their responses to the final deal in the last 24 hours. Krugman has gone from “Let’s Not Make A Deal” to “better than what I expected.” The response from the far-right has also been illuminating. Drudge rushed to declare Obama’s payroll tax cut as a Republican idea. Hinderaker below insists “Obama has admitted that the Republicans were right all along.” Notice something about all of this? They all now realize that Obama has been a little shrewder than they took him to be.
Now for the short-term benefits of resolving this tax-and-spend dilemma so swiftly. The president urgently needs to get the new START and DADT through the Senate. DADT would be a major boost for his base – and the country’s military. Getting START through is critical to his foreign policy cred. If he can pull all this off by Christmas – and the Senate should indeed stay open for an extra week – the last Congress will indeed be viewed by historians as one of the most substantive (and liberal) in recent history. And Obama will have orchestrated it – while ending up firmly planted and rebranded in the center.