As my son commented, he had
"been using battered wife syndrome to explain Obama's self negotiating (if I act nicer, he won't hit me next time), but Stockholm Syndrome is a better explanation. Also, [my son's wife] thinks (and I agree) that there is likely a racial component influencing Obama's willingness to ignore his captors' abuse."
I've been using the battered wife syndrome to explain some Democrats' responses to rightwing Republicans in general over the past many years, and unfortunately Obama's recent behavior has seemed to reflect that same syndrome, or as Frank Rich and my son say more accurately Stockholm Syndrome.
His giving in to the completely illogical and ridiculous demand from the Republicans that the wealthiest among us should get continuing tax breaks while the rest of us, including the least wealthy, have to sacrifice because of the debt and deficit, is a major disappointment [and yes I know he didn't have the votes in the Senate to override the Republicans refusal to even consider letting the taxes on the wealthiest go back to what they were before Bush/Cheney started two wars without any taxes to pay for them but instead cut taxes for the rich!]. As is his freeze on wages for federal workers (excluding the military) but not on profits from corporations that pay no taxes and in fact often get tax refunds while raking in profits larger than any in the history of humankind! [See my last post of Bernie Sanders' great speech on that subject.]
The strategy of trying to placate the right has never worked in our history, but sadly, Obama and some Democratic Senators and Representatives have yet to learn that lesson.
As I wrote back to my son Miles, Obama's "negotiating [his] mixed-race background in mostly white and then mostly brown and then mostly black worlds (or at least scenes and circumstances) has diluted his core beliefs into negotiable bargains for barter [it would seem], but as [my old friend Hubert Selby Jr.] used to say whenever I got involved in a new relationship, 'There are no bargains Michael. You think you're only going to have to pay 98 cents, but it turns out to be your right leg!'"
Only in this case, it's the collective right leg (financial security) of the poor and working non-wealthy majority of us going to give even MORE to the wealthiest among us that the rightwing Republicans have always been in the service of, and too-many right-leaning or easily-manipulated-by-the-right Democrats as well. I hate to add Obama to that latter group but it's beginning to seem illogical and unreasonable not to.