Defying President Obama, House Democrats voted Thursday not to bring up the tax package that he negotiated with Republicans in its current form.
"This message today is very simple: That in the form that it was negotiated, it is not acceptable to the House Democratic caucus. It's as simple as that," said Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen.
"We will continue to try and work with the White House and our Republican colleagues to try and make sure we do something right for the economy and right for jobs, and a balanced package as we go forward," he said.
I wonder if we're not seeing the beginning of the end of the Obama presidency on this. The Republicans are already rooting for the president's failure and working earnestly for it. It now seems that Dems are doing the same. There's nothing wrong with this, per se -- I tend to like it when Congress acts like a co-equal branch of government, and when members assert their prerogatives instead of rolling over for the president.
But in his eagerness to get a deal with the GOP, it now appears the president simply assumed he'd have the votes of his own party. That he doesn't -- or that he failed to persuade his own caucus -- is going to be a sign of weakness to voters, Republicans, just about everybody. That's not good for Obama. He's looking more like Jimmy Carter at this hour than he ever has.