Lame duck: Obama’s not-so-grand bargain

According to a leaked memo provided by Bob Woodward on last Sunday’s Meet the Press with David Gregory, Obama’s first try at a “Grand Bargain” was abysmal. You can read the Grand Bargain memo in its entirely here. Basically, the president offered to cut military health care, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for a pittance in increased tax revenue on the wealthy. This was not a deal forced on him; it’s the deal he wanted. It fell apart at the 11th hour when he asked Boehner for a little more tax revenue. I don’t think voters in Florida, who stood in line eight hours, knew the guy they were voting for planned to cut their Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and may still do so.

Blogger Taylor Marsh offers some insightful comments about the memo and about Obama:

They don’t call it the “grand bargain” for nothing and he’s the one pushing it, not Republicans.

It will make you understand what I wrote after Obama’s emotional talk with his troops in Chicago, how it’s always about him, no investment in Democratic Party principles or that legacy. . .

Obama has always been fixated on Ronald Reagan and what he did, because that’s the president that impacted, impressed and embedded most in his mind when he was coming up. So, the grand bargain is about a Ronald Reagan—Tip O’Neill moment. An “I saved Social Security” for future generations deal, which will likely include a nod to the business community, whose “fiscal cliff” is the bookend meant to push the “grand bargain” to manifestation, in the mother of all Obama—Wall Street make-up sessions imprinted for history.

Bill Kristol has already paved the way for the wealthy tax cuts, so Democrats only have to give on entitlements to make it all possible. . .

Not only did Team Obama get progressives to stand down in the run up to the 2012 election, with activists shrugging they couldn’t possibly ask Obama to outline his plan on entitlements, but they’re going to watch as the boss uses OFA to push through a wider conservative economic legacy. . .

Disagreeing with Obama’s economic conservatism, his intent would complete what his neoliberal godfather Bill Clinton started. The result could have as lasting an impact on the Democratic Party as Clinton’s economic and job creation did in the ’90s, solidifying the most powerful tag team legacy in modern political history, with Republicans having no rival.

If you can’t beat Republicans on economics best them by becoming the New Republican Party, complete with “kill lists” and drone strikes that would make the Gipper proud. The Reagan coalition may be dead on the right, but it’s very much alive with the New “Left” Democrat.