Obama-Congressional Democrats Turn On Each Other : It's All Politics A White House official told ABC News that House Democrats failed while lawmakers blamed Obama. The White House wanted House Democrats to vote on the Bush tax cuts over the past year. But House lawmakers wanted the Senate to go first.
NPR logo Obama-Congressional Democrats Turn On Each Other

Obama-Congressional Democrats Turn On Each Other

Let the circular firing squad jokes begin.

White House officials and congressional Democrats are bashing each other for perceived failures related to the controversial deal to extend the Bush tax cuts President Obama reached with Republicans.

According to ABC News' Jake Tapper, White House officials are saying that they had wanted House Democrats to tee up the issue some time ago but the majority party in the lower chamber didn't.

An excerpt:

"We wanted a fight, the House didn't throw a punch," a senior White House official tells ABC News, pointing out that for months before the 2010 midterm elections, President Obama was making the case against the Bush tax cuts for wealthier Americans. "The House wouldn't vote before the Senate, and the Senate was afraid they'd lose a vote on it."

"It was like the Jets versus Sharks except there weren't any Jets," the official said. "Senator Schumer says he wants a fight? He couldn't hold his caucus together."

No surprise there. House Democrats have complained bitterly that they've been repeatedly burned by the Senate, taking the initiative to schedule tough votes only to have bills get stalled in the Senate.

It happened on health-care and climate-change legislation. Small wonder House Democrats wanted the Senate to jump first on a vote to extend the Bush tax-cuts.

But congressional Democrats are letting President Obama have it, too. He's surrender happy, they are reportedly telling each other.

A Politico excerpt:

"This is the president's Gettysburg," Rep. Jim McDermott, a leading progressive and a subcommittee chairman on the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, told POLITICO Monday. Referring to Obama’s choice about whether to compromise or stand firm against Republicans on the question of higher taxes for the wealthy, the Washington Democrat said: "He's going to have to decide whether he's going to withstand Pickett's Charge ... I worry."

And this:

Even Democratic leaders on the Hill are having a hard time swallowing the idea: When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) relayed her view of the White House's position on the tax cuts to her fellow leaders on Sunday, it was roundly panned, according to sources familiar with the discussion.

The general sentiment, as described by one participant: "What the [heck]? Could we have a little fight before we cave? Why go right to surrender?"

Can some Democrat calling Obama an appeaser and likening him to Neville Chamberlain be far behind? We've heard that kind of talk before but not really from members of his own party.