I offer this viewpoint as an alternative and not necessarily something I believe in strongly. It's hard to believe in anything strongly when you work seven and eight days at a time and work the graveyard shift. That being said, I know progressives are up in arms over what the president and Congressional Democrats did in facilitating a debt ceiling deal. Funny, but the new job has a way of putting things in perspective.
I think everyone acknowledges that the tea party won this particular war. We didn't get any substantive tax increases and we got a lot of spending cuts in areas we didn't want. Sure, we did see the defense budget get cut more than at any time since the Nixon administration. However, most strategists and economists would say that this was a win for the tea party. However, let's consider the cost of that win. Our most important class when we were getting trained was the class on holds, restraints, and general defense maneuvers.
When someone is charging at you full-speed, you don't meet them head on. You step aside and let their momentum put them in a defenseless position. Most of you are catching on to the strategy. The Republican party (or whatever is left of it) might be employing the same strategy. When you have a crazed assailant (or mob) you risk life and limb if you meet them directly. Let their momentum take them out of the game. It works with crazed clients and it works with raging conservatives.
Currently, Congress is running at an approval rating of two percent. Most political scientists would tell you that there is always an error of plus or minus five percent on those polls. So, Congress could be running at -3 percent approval. So, you tell me whether the tea party really won this debate or not. As our parents once told us, "be careful what you wish for, you just might get it." The Republicans would be smart to employ the same strategy if they want to survive as a political party.
Democrats have had to do this from time to time. A wing of the party begins to show more muscle than it should. So, instead of taking them on, you let them run their course and move on from there. So, instead of competing with Michelle Bachman, Rick Perry, Rand Paul, and Sarah Palin, let them through like a game of red rover where you let go right before they break through the chain. Chances are they will run and trip right into the mud. So, they win the nomination and get their ass kicked. Yes, you lose a chance at the White House for four years. You also effectively kill a movement that is threatening to kill you.
So, did Obama relent? Sure, but doesn't that doesn't necessarily mean he is a wimp. Of course, it could be a mad strategy that could pan out in ways no one imagines. Or, he could just be a wimp. However, it is paramount to always look at all of the possibilities and I just wanted to throw another one out there. Take it for what its worth.