OBAMASTITCHESAndrewHarar:Pool:Getty

So let's get this straight: at a moment when most acknowledge a fiscal crisis that requires sacrifice on both sides, such sacrifice means the GOP gets its budget-busting non-sunsetting of Bush's tax cuts, and the Dems get to extend unemployment insurance. The former is far more damaging than the latter to fiscal sanity, but both add to spending after an election in which the public allegedly stood up as one to demand fiscal restraint.

Here's why it makes sense for Obama. It certainly helps goose the economy for the next two years, which has got to help him win re-election; if done quickly, it can create room for the new START and repeal of DADT in this Congress; in the next Congress, Obama can focus on long-term debt reduction in the State of the Union, without being mau-maued on tax hikes.

I don't see this as surrender. I see this as Obama's cold-blooded pragmatism. Why is this still news?

(Photo: Andrew Harar/Getty.)

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