Apparently the White House didn't agree with them.
The president did not believe the dynamic would suddenly shift in his favor after Jan. 1, rejecting the conventional wisdom in Washington that all sides would have more flexibility after higher tax rates took effect. Republicans were no more likely to compromise after the deadline than before it, the White House concluded. And there was a very real fear that a resolution wouldn’t come for weeks, perhaps not before the country hit the debt limit in late February — a nightmare scenario that the president believed would destroy not only his leverage but also the still-fragile economy.Nuff said.
The chaos on New Year’s Day in the House validated the president’s strategy to find a solution now, White House aides said.
But Michael Tomasky makes another good point.
If Obama had done what these liberals wanted and sent any signals as the New Year approached that he was ready to go over the cliff, the House Republicans would have publicized that, and then, if we had gone over the cliff, Obama would have shared the blame. It was Obama’s strict, good-faith adherence to the deadline that helped shift all the blame to the Republicans, and that is what made them play ball.In saying that, perhaps Mr. Tomasky is beginning to grasp the idea of conciliatory rhetoric as ruthless strategy.