Dear Mr. President,
I'm sure you'll be getting no small amount of hell from the left over the tax-cuts-for-unemployment deal you made today with Republican leadership. I won't add to it. Not because I don't think this was a show of weakness, a terrible decision given the economic climate and a bad political move to boot, but because I wasn't in the room.
I actually wasn't in any number of rooms, as I'm sure this negotiation took place over many days on many levels in many, many rooms. I don't know what was said, what was offered and what was threatened. I can say I'd have done it differently, but I don't know, for sure, that my solution would have worked any better than yours.
I won't add to the criticism, I will say only this; I am disappointed. I feel let down, I feel ignored, I feel as though you caved in to demands you might have stood up to. I, and other liberals who voted for you, are owed an explanation. Who are we to hold accountable? What blue-dog democrats backed down? What possible justification do so-called fiscally responsible Republicans have for this massive increase to the deficit? Where were we beaten and where were we just too afraid to fight back?
It's been a long week for me, already, and it's only just Monday. Taking a break from finals week madness, I tried to follow some of the reactions to this deal. The usual name calling is all around, as is plenty of voter's remorse and more than one "I told you so" from fellow liberals. One comment came from a man whose unemployment insurance is going to be extended because of this deal, and all he had to offer was gratitude.
Maybe it's because I'm tired, maybe it's because I can accept the limits of my own knowledge, or maybe it was the gratitude of this man, but I just can't share in the fury on the left tonight. It was a bad deal, a bad day. All I can do is tell myself that tomorrow will be better.