This isn't as radical sounding as it looks—Bill Clinton is only expressing regret about a particular set of operations run by his administration—but it's still a noteworthy change of sentiment from a president who greatly expanded the war on drugs.
Conservatives might think otherwise, but the liberal focus on repealing the upper-income Bush tax cuts has less to do with higher taxes for their own sake, and more to do with revenue—we need it—and basic distributional concerns: The rich have been extremely well-served by the economy, taking a huge percentage of all income produced since 1979.
The title of this post is harsh, but when you consider the actual effects of the policies he endorses in this Politico op-ed, it's fair to wonder if he's trying to provoke a combination economic/constitutional crisis.
Via Matthew Yglesias, Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council, explains one of the administration's key demands as deals with Republicans on the fiscal cliff—an end to the debt ceiling as a negotiation tool:
It's clear from their negotiations over the fiscal cliff that Republicans have not abandoned their commitment to lower taxes on the rich and fewer services for ordinary Americans. They continue to support a bare bones federal government, regardless of the damage it would do to middle- and working-class families.
If this poll from Public Policy Polling is any indication, a fair number of Republicans have convinced themselves Barack Obama won re-election with fraud and other nefarious efforts:
49% of GOP voters nationally say they think that ACORN stole the election for President Obama. We found that 52% of Republicans thought that ACORN stole the 2008 election for Obama, so this is a modest decline, but perhaps smaller than might have been expected given that ACORN doesn’t exist anymore.
At Business Insider, Walter Hickey reports results from an online survey (commissioned by the website) that show a public muddled over the consequences of going over the fiscal cliff. Per the survey, 47.4 percent of Americans said that the deficit would increase if we went over the cliff, only 12.6 percent say that it would decrease.
It seems that Republicans are beginning to understand the futility of their opposition to higher tax rates on the wealthiest Americans. Writing for the Washington Examiner, Byron York reveals the extent to which GOP lawmakers know the weakness of their position.
The conventional wisdom on fiscal cliff negotiations is that President Barack Obama holds most, if not all, of the leverage. If Republicans refuse to budge, the government automatically imposes policies that Republicans fear—higher tax rates and sharp cuts to military spending.
Conservative politicians are fond of warning against European influence in American life. Throughout his campaign for the presidency, for example, Mitt Romney would make declarations like this one: “What we have to do in America is not to make us more like Europe, but to make America more like America.” Likewise, according to right-wing wunderkind Paul Ryan, “we will turn out just like Europe if we stick with European policies,” by which he means modest attempts to bolster and pay for the welfare state.