Gergen: Obama and Democrats are “Over-Playing” their Hand on “Fiscal Cliff”

CNN contributor David Gergen has written an opinion piece saying President Obama and the Democrats are “over-playing their hand” in the wake of the 2012 Election by being unreasonable in the Fiscal Cliff negotiations with Republicans:

CNN – David Gergen: Forgive me, but haven’t we seen this movie before in the aftermath of national elections? Usually, it doesn’t end well.

In the weeks since his victory, President Barack Obama has argued — correctly — that voters are demanding that high-income Americans pay higher taxes as a way to reduce deficits. Some 60% in exit polls endorsed that proposition, and a Pew/Washington Post poll released this week found that 60% still support it. The president, then, has good reason to push the idea.

In a breakthrough, House Speaker John Boehner quickly lined up behind the idea of the wealthy paying more. . . . .

But frankly, it is the president and the Democrats who are over-playing their hands now.

Instead of turning the GOP willingness to deal on taxes into a win-win, the White House seemingly wants to humiliate them by insisting they cave entirely on increasing tax rates — or take responsibility for going over the cliff. Instead of sitting down and negotiating directly with leaders from the other side in private getaways, as presidents like Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan did, the president launches a campaign-style offensive against them.

The proposal that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner put before Republicans on Thursday, as reported by The New York Times, was clearly intended to score political points with Democrats rather than entice Republicans into serious negotiations. It was full of nonstarters. . . . Read More

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