However, not long ago, MSNBC telepundit Rachel Maddow observed what she called the Washington press corps’s tendency to find fault with the Democrats before they criticize the Republicans. Is Maddow right? I never noticed such a tendency, but then again, I haven’t been following the papers close enough to form an opinion. However, a December 9 Times column by McManus — on President Obama’s then-fresh deal with the Republicans to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans — tells me that Maddow may be onto something.
We all (should) know that Obama’s so-called deal with his opposition party came about because all 42 Republican Senators threatened to filibuster any other legislation in the Senate’s lame-duck session, effectively bringing that legislative chamber to a screeching halt. Think about that: legislation with majority — sometimes near-super-majority — support held hostage by the minority. That sounds like something worthy of a newsprint chiding, at the very least. But apparently Doyle McManus disagrees with me. His December 9 column found more fault with the Democrats’ negative reaction to the Obama-GOP deal than he did with the Republicans’ political brinkmanship:
The president cut a deal with the GOP on tax cuts and jobless benefits. Liberals are furious, but as a practical move, it made sense.by Doyle McManusFor months, anxious Democrats have been asking why Barack Obama couldn’t be more like Bill Clinton, their last successful president. Now Obama has gone and done something Clintonian by striking a compromise with Republicans to extend high-income tax cuts, and his own party’s liberals are furiously accusing him of betraying their ideals. ...
This column prompted my first letter to the editor in ages: