Probably the single most enjoyable result of the so-called compromise that prevented the
U. S. from
going over Fiscal Cliff I (and set up the nation to go over Fiscal Cliffs II,
III and IV) is watching Conservatives try to spin the result. A bunch of them say this was a disaster for
Conservatism, raising taxes on very wealthy people was a huge defeat. Others say it was a triumph, getting
Democrats to accept the permanence of the Bush era tax cuts for middle and high
middle income taxpayers.
Fred Barnes, the editor of the Weekly Standard (standard of journalism incompetence) has a nice piece in the Wall Street Journal in which he fictionalizes the fiscal cliff deal. Here are some of his comments followed by reality.
It left Republicans despondent, Democrats not quite thrilled, and represented Mr. Obama's latest failure to achieve a major bipartisan agreement.
Uh Fred, it passed with huge Republican support in the Senate and a lot of Republican support in the House, including the vote of the Speaker and the vote of wonderchild Paul Ryan. That’s what rational people call bi-partisan support.
But the biggest hindrance to a bipartisan breakthrough has been the president's own style in dealing with the GOP opposition.
This means Mr. Barnes is unhappy that the President will not engage Republicans, a sentiment which Mr. Barnes himself contradicts later in his writing.
Over the past 18 months, he hosted meetings with Republican leaders and had numerous one-on-one conversations with House Speaker John Boehner
Gosh Fred, looks like you are losing an argument with yourself, and that’s hard to do.
After Mr. Boehner agreed to $800 billion in new tax revenues in 2011, Mr. Obama suddenly called for $400 billion more. This instantly killed a potential grand bargain and deepened Republican distrust of the president.
And what did the President and the Democrats agree to? $600 billion in new revenue. How’s that for compromising?
But wait, there’s more. See Mr. Barnes has his feelings hurt.
He is strikingly un-conciliatory. While his aides negotiated in recent weeks, he attacked Republicans in stump speeches—well after the end of his election campaign. He dismissed their pleas for spending cuts and claimed that their chief interest was in helping the rich avoid higher taxes. With the talks at a critical stage last weekend, he staged a White House event at which he mocked Republicans for thinking he might forgo additional tax increases for millionaires and "companies with a lot of lobbyists" in 2013.
Like most Conservatives, Mr. Barnes and his ilk are capable of hurling the most vicious invective at the President, but recoil in horror if anyone questions them.
Well, everyone gets the picture. And don’t worry when the history of the era is written Mr. Barnes’s fiction will be nowhere to be found. See that’s the problem with history, it is objective which is why Conservatives have to constantly try to rewrite it.