Charles Krauthammer on Monday said that when Barack Obama spoke to the nation hours ago to announce a tax extension compromise just reached with Republicans, "It was actually a speech addressed at Daily Kos, the New York Times, and MoveOn."
In Krauthammer's view expressed on Fox's "Special Report," "This was a speech aimed at appeasing the Left which is extremely angry over this" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
BRET BAIER, HOST: Just moments ago, a very senior GOP aide e-mailed saying, "Finally, President Obama is using the bully pulpit. It's about time. Though it's ironic and somewhat amusing that he's having to use it against his own Democrats." So, there you see some of the early reaction to the President's words. Let's bring in our panel for some reaction. Jonah Goldberg, at large editor of National Review Online, A. B. Stoddard, associate editor of The Hill, and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer. Charles, your thoughts?
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Well, I was struck by the tone and by the audience. This is ostensibly a speech to the American people. It was actually a speech addressed at Daily Kos, the New York Times, and MoveOn. This was a speech that was rather partisan. Interestingly, it's about the first agreement and supposedly the first step in a new era of comity in Washington, but it was quite partisan. He attacked the Republican ideas. He said he disagrees with them strongly, but he had to compromise. This was a speech aimed at appeasing the Left which is extremely angry over this, and it laid out the details of the agreement. We came in a few seconds left, a few seconds after it started, but generally when you get a deal like this, he mentions the opposition and the leaders and he thanks them, and he says how wonderful it was entering in these negotiations and reaching the agreement. I didn't hear any of that, which is odd for the first step on a new, a new kind of a tone in Washington.
Is Krauthammer right?
Consider that at Daily Kos, as the details of this compromise package began to surface, they ran a poll asking readers "Deal or No Deal?" 74 percent of respondents said, "Don't make the deal - let all tax cuts expire."
The comments in the subsequent post after Obama's announcement were also quite telling.
As for the New York Times, Paul Krugman on Monday agreed with the Kossacks' sentiments in his column "Let's Not Make a Deal."
And finally, MoveOn.org has prominently displayed at its website a fundraiser to stop the extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
Maybe Charles has a point.