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Or man the phone banks?

Yeah, right.

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

December 07, 2010

Press Conference by the President

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

2:25 P.M. EST

….Q    Where is your line in the sand?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, look, I’ve got a whole bunch of lines in the sand.  Not making the tax cuts for the wealthy permanent — that was a line in the sand.  Making sure that the things that most impact middle-class families and low-income families, that those were preserved — that was a line in the sand.  I would not have agreed to a deal, which, by the way, some in Congress were talking about, of just a two-year extension on the Bush tax cuts and one year of unemployment insurance, but meanwhile all the other provisions, the Earned Income Tax Credit or other important breaks for middle-class families like the college tax credit, that those had gone away just because they had Obama’s name attached to them instead of Bush’s name attached to them.

So this notion that somehow we are willing to compromise too much reminds me of the debate that we had during health care.  This is the public option debate all over again.  So I pass a signature piece of legislation where we finally get health care for all Americans, something that Democrats had been fighting for for a hundred years, but because there was a provision in there that they didn’t get that would have affected maybe a couple of million people, even though we got health insurance for 30 million people and the potential for lower premiums for 100 million people, that somehow that was a sign of weakness and compromise.

Now, if that’s the standard by which we are measuring success or core principles, then let’s face it, we will never get anything done.  People will have the satisfaction of having a purist position and no victories for the American people.  And we will be able to feel good about ourselves and sanctimonious about how pure our intentions are and how tough we are, and in the meantime, the American people are still seeing themselves not able to get health insurance because of preexisting conditions or not being able to pay their bills because their unemployment insurance ran out.

That can’t be the measure of how we think about our public service.  That can’t be the measure of what it means to be a Democrat.  This is a big, diverse country.  Not everybody agrees with us.  I know that shocks people.  The New York Times editorial page does not permeate across all of America.  Neither does The Wall Street Journal editorial page….

Oh, that’s a really good idea. He finally gets testy with someone – it’s just the people who got him where he is because they sort of believed what he said he was gonna do.

Unlike 2008 the idyllic fall landscapes in 2012 probably won’t be marred by very many people in t-shirts with a spiffy logo handing out campaign literature. Except for the ones wearing a t-shirt with a moose superimposed over a map of Alaska.

I probably need to find a hobby. I figure I’ll have a lot of extra time on my hands in 2012.