If you were first astonished at the outlines of President Obama’s tax cut compromise with GOP leaders on Monday and then angry yesterday when Obama called liberals “sanctimonious” for suggesting that he compromised too soon, you weren’t alone. MSNBC hosts Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann came out last night with guns blazing, and spared few shots.
First up was Olbermann, with a “Special Comment” that lasted more than ten minutes in which he suggested liberals should primary the president, and so much more. Accusing the President of betraying the people who elected him and “selling out” his principles, Olbermann compared the Obama to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, adding:
To paraphrase Churchill, again, let me begin by saying the most unpopular and most unwelcome thing: “that we have sustained a defeat without a war, the consequences of which will travel far with us along our road. We should know that we have passed an awful milestone in our history, when the whole equilibrium of American politics and policy have been deranged, and that the terrible words have, for the time being, been pronounced against this Administration: “thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting.”
Olbermann noted that, in exchange for the tax cuts (“this searing and transcendent capitulation”), the 13-month unemployment extension won’t even apply to people unemployed for more than 99 weeks — who will number between 2 and 4 million by next December. Olbermann argued that the wealthy aren’t job-creators, that the temporary payroll tax reduction will help Republicans “gut Social Security later” and that the estate tax extension was almost more unjustified than any other part of the proposal.
Watch his extended rant:
Then, it was Maddow’s turn. She called his presidency “at risk of becoming a punch line” because “the very idea that he knows how to win or even wants to win has become a joke.”
Either the president of the United States matters or he doesn’t. And if the president cannot win when his party is the majority in Congress, if no one can even conceive of the president winning fights when his party is in the majority, let alone the minority in Washington, then the presidency itself starts to atrophy. It starts to disappear.
Watch her rant below: