Why Bernie Sanders Position Is Smart Policy and Politics
Sen. Bernie Sanders tapped into something very special with his near-filibuster. The Senate server temporarily shut down. Obama's neoliberal tendencies and political team's decision that a tax cut deal would play well with independent voters in 2012. Sander's stirring floor speeches is proof that populism sell politically.
The Obama team is made the tax cut deal strictly for their 2012 re-election chances. As the bizarre Bill Clinton press conference illustrates this White House is disorganized. Obama's lame excuse that he couldn't talk about tax policy with President Clinton and the media was disaster. It made Obama appear as if he doesn't care and needs a former president to do his heavy lifting. I think there is truth to the latter. Another example of disorganization is Obama not consulting with leaders of the Democratic caucuses before making the tax cut deal. This was amazingly stupid Obama only has himself to blame for his caucuses being angry at him.
Obama's complaints that Congress should have handled this and progressives should be on his side. Whether you agree with his grievances, it appears that Obama expect other people to follow lockstep with him. At the end of the day Obama is the leader of the Democratic Party.
People have compared Obama to Bush I. The comparison I will make is George H.W. Bush was hated by the Republican establishment, the base, had a slumping economy and went back on a tax pledge. Bush lost his re-election bid.