Get over it, liberals

Principles matter, but not as much as progress

Robert Shrum

The progressive resistance to the Obama deal on tax cuts is both unreasoning and unreasonable. Unreasoning because the opponents, whose anger is congealing into adamantine ideology inside the Democratic Party, are pulling out a cascade of objections but offering up no practical alternative. Unreasonable because what the president achieved — which in reality should be called an economic recovery package — is a fundamentally progressive deal.

Yes, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, who skillfully negotiated with Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, had to concede on the top rate tax cuts — for now. Democrats can battle the issue out, and win on it, in 2012 — which is what should have happened in the midterms, and might have but for the counsel of some of the same members of Congress who are now digging in or dragging their heels against the agreement. And yes, the 15 percent rate on dividend and capital gains will continue for two years — which probably makes sense when markets are rising but still fragile. After all, the markets do matter to those whom progressives claim to fight for, determining the value of 401(k)s and the pension funds and savings of workers, retirees, and the entire middle class.

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