Cenk Uygur on the Great Bargain (a.k.a. the Great Betrayal)

Excerpt from a transcript of a broadcast of The Young Turks (December 21, 2012)

There is only one person who can rescue the Republican Party now — Barack Obama. And he will. I have been saying for over two years now that President Obama is dying to do the Grand Bargain. He will do it at any cost. In fact, he actively wants to cut Social Security and Medicare. He can’t wait for that pat on the back from the establishment when they finally call him post-partisan, above party politics, and a statesman for screwing over his own voters. This is by far his greatest wish.

I couldn’t believe that people couldn’t believe that President Obama offered to cut Social Security again in this round of negotiations. What are you still surprised at? The man has offered to cut these so-called entitlements every time. When are you going to get it through your head — he wants to cut them!

Ok, I’m raining on everyone’s parade here because this is the moment when the partisans are supposed to be reveling in Republican failure. The Republican Party is split and in tatters. Yes, but to what end? In order for that to be relevant, the Democrats would now have to offer a very different deal where the terms are changed in our favor. If they do and they get a deal where taxes are actually raised on people making above $250,000 and Social Security and Medicare are protected, then I will be dead wrong. I will be wrong now and I will have been wrong for all of these years. You can rub my face in it. And since the Democratic partisans are now feeling triumphant, get that crow ready for me to eat.

Winning is different for Obama than it is for me and you. To us, winning is passing progressive priorities. To him, it’s passing a deal where he seems like he is above party politics.

But it’s not going to happen. I’m telling you this even in the Republican Party’s darkest hour, the president will still give them most of what they want. My guess is that liberals will be stunned at the concessions President Obama makes even when he had the Republicans in a corner and totally defeated. Here’s what you have to understand — it’s because he doesn’t want to “win.” Winning is different for him than it is for me and you. To us, winning is passing progressive priorities. To him, it’s passing a deal where he seems like he is above party politics. In order to do that, he must cut entitlements (and corporate taxes, too, by the way).

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