In a Special Comment Tuesday, Keith Olbermann tore into President Obama over his tax cut compromise, calling him "goddamned wrong" and accusing the president of betraying his base.
Olbermann called the compromise, which the New York Times has reported will mostly benefit the wealthy and actually raise taxes on the poor, a "searing and transcendent capitulation," saying that Obama had "bowed" to the rich by accepting tax cuts that will bring no benefit to the economy. He also expressed shock that the Democrats had been forced to compromise on an issue that, to Olbermann, they could have easily won.
"This President negotiates down from a position of strength better than any politician in our recent history," he said.
But Olbermann reserved his greatest ire for what he perceived as the administration's arrogant and dismissive attitude towards the base of the Democratic party. He said that a "senior member" of the administration had tried to sell him on the deal on Monday. When Olbermann told him that "the base has just vanished," the official said that "they must not have read the details."
This set Olbermann off:
There, in a nutshell, is this Administration. They didn't make a bad deal -- we just don't understand it.
Just as it was our fault, Mr President, for not understanding your refusal of even the most perfunctory of investigations of rendition or domestic spying or the other crimes of the Bush Administration, or why you have now established for those future Administrations who want to repeat those crimes, that the punishment for them will be nothing.
Just as it was our fault, Mr. President, for not understanding Afghanistan. Just as we didn't correctly perceive, sir, the necessity for the continuation of Gitmo. Or how we failed to intuit, President Obama, your preemptive abandonment of single payer and the public option. Or how we couldn't have foreseen your foot-dragging on "Don't ask, don't tell." Just as we shouldn't have gotten you angry at your news conference today and made all the moderate Democrats wonder why in the hell you get publicly angry so often at the liberals who campaigned for you and whether you might save just a touch of that sarcasm and that self-martyrdom for the Republicans.
And of course, Mr. President how we totally betrayed your Administration by not concluding our prayers every night by saying "Thank you for preventing another Great Depression, you are entitled to skate along on your own wonderfulness indefinitely and if you get less than you could have on health care reform or taxes, well, that'll be okay, we're happy to pay $10,000 for a $300 car because hey, it could've been $20,000, right? And because we only expect you to do one thing correctly during a presidency and you had pretty much cleared that obligation when it proved that you were, indeed, not John McCain."
Olbermann noted that independent Senator Bernie Sanders has threatened to filibuster the tax bill, and said he should be supported in doing so:
"It is not disloyalty to the Democratic party to tell a Democratic president he is wrong; it is not disloyalty to tell him he is goddamned wrong...it is not disloyalty to remind the President that he was elected by people to whom he had given a clear outline of what he would do for them, and if he does not steer out of the skid of what he is doing to them, he will not only not be re-elected, he may not even be re-nominated."