Reporter's Note: Every single day that he has been in office, I have written a letter to President Obama. It is possible that this is illegal…but I don’t know.
Dear Mr. President,
I find myself torn a bit this afternoon. On one hand, I think that you and your Republican pals are closing in on a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, albeit by fits and starts. Then on the other hand, I think…maybe not.
I want to have faith that it is the former. However, I also have the distinct impression that both sides are suffering from a version of buyer’s remorse before the deal is even done.
You know what I’m talking about. It’s like buying a house. No doubt sometime in the past you have had to do that dance. You make an offer, the other side makes an offer, back and forth you go, concessions and demands are added and subtracted, and finally you reach an agreement. The problem comes if you get to the agreement too fast. Invariably that makes each side fear that maybe they gave up too much, too quickly.
And so it is with these negotiations, I fear.
Your Democrats, flush with their most recent election successes, are not much in the mood to give up anything. Many of them are eager to show just how tough they can play with the GOP. And who can blame them?
Republicans, however, are perhaps just as enthused about showing that they were not entirely defanged by this last round of voting. They don’t want to even appear weak in this deal.
So each time you and Boehner start closing in on an agreement, your parties both start getting twitchy, each side fearing that the headlines will come out and it will look like the loser in the negotiations. Truth be told, if they can calm down enough to approve a deal and stave off calamity, I suspect voters will give both sides credit. But as you know, D.C. spends an awful lot of time worrying about blame. And that appears to be at least part of what is at work now.
Beyond that: How’s work? I remain pretty busy with the year closing out and dreadfully behind on my holiday preparations, but hopefully I’ll pull it all together in the final days. Speaking of which, if the Mayans are right about tomorrow, I guess this will be my last letter. Ha!
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