The President's remarks were compromising and attacking at the same time. Fair enough. The President is speaking out both sides of his mouth and that criticism is legitimate.
But, there is a larger issue. The country is still in economic crisis. A tax increase would cripple any hopes of recovery in the next two years. So, to the President's credit, he saw the situation and cut a deal. He understands that stopping the biggest tax increase in history will grow the economy. In some ways, the deal he cut was his finest moment as President.
Of course, the hardcore left and right do not like any compromise or any deal. That is their nature. And, with all respect to Senator DeMint, a United States Senator can be radical, but the President of the United States cannot be. That is something that the President learned after two hard years of trying to do otherwise.
Democrats who abandon the President are foolish. With the mood of the American people, this is the best deal that the Democrats could get. And, frankly, with the President's power to veto, this is the best deal for the next two years the Republicans can get.
That said, the President did go about this all wrong. First, he did not line up his party's votes before making the deal. Second, his press conference was short on compromise and long on fighting in the future. That alienates Republicans.
But, the hard cold truth is the tax deal between the President and Republican leaders is the best deal both sides can get. To his credit, the President's compromise was one that seems to most Americans as an effort to get the work done for the country. If Republicans sink the deal, then they will be saddled with tax increases on the American people.
The President made a bold move. Whatever his intentions, the President's deal changed the game. If the Republicans play hardball and kill the deal, taxes go up on the American people and the President can stand and say it is their fault. The egos of the far left and far right will be heard from. They will dance their dance and the President will find himself the champion of the American people if those on the right and left play their hand too far.