So why is it even on the so-called table in the current negotiations, much less the apparent key to it all? Why is a Democratic president seemingly intent on a) making cuts that will be harmful to seniors who depend on SS as their primary income source and which will forever more make him the man responsible for cutting benefits (you’ll hear that from the GOP as soon as the 2014 elections) and b) worse yet, participating in the process of implicitly redefining SS as an “entitlement” and thus forevermore an acceptable target for “savings” which must be made so as not to upset the 1% and our corporate masters?

How can a man as smart as Barack Obama appears to be most of the time constantly give up the bargaining advantage when doesn’t have to? Why should he, or we, be concerned for a single second whether or not John Boehner can survive as Speaker if he doesn’t get some sort of “red meat” to toss to his mostly insane GOP caucus? Yes, maybe this sort of foolishness might mean a slightly better overall deal that what might be possible if we go over that imaginary cliff (and that is by no means certain), but what is the point of winning in politics  if you’re afraid to claim it as a mandate no matter how small the margin (see George W. Bush, who lost the popular vote)?

This kind of dithering and compromise for the sake of compromise (a process which  makes the increasingly irrelevant Washington establishment and its press courtiers happy, and god forbid they should be out of sorts; many of them are still recovering from those “hillbilly” Clintons being in what they think of as “their” White House, much less a Black family.)  is why we are not going to get anything close to meaningful gun legislation, possibly no gun legislation at all. The public attention span is exactly suited for a Twitter world. By the time we get the first session of the new Congress and Sen. Feinstein’s proposal, the moment will have passed, the anger will have soothed and, hey, Super Bowl!