Officially, it's not even winter yet but yesterday Barack Obama moved it up a couple of weeks.
The "winter" in question had nothing to do with the cold weather outside in Washington.
No, this "winter" had all to do with the "cold" calculating deal the president cut with the Republicans yesterday agreeing to extend the Bush era tax cuts for the rich for an additional two years.
In order to get unemployment benefits that were about to expire for two million people extended for a year (Republicans were opposed to extending unemployment benefits without cuts in other programs to offset the costs to the unemployed as well as extending all tax cuts including the rich) Obama simply caved to their demands.
This apparently was Obama's idea of bi-partisanship in action. He knew (because he said it) extending tax cuts for the rich was wrong. They don't need it. Warren Buffet said as much a week ago. Tax cuts for the rich has nothing to do with adding jobs and boosting the economy (though Republicans hold to this fantasy) as the rich don't invest their tax cut money this way, they just invest it to add to their substantial holdings. The majority of the American people say in polls they do not support extending the tax cuts for the rich. The majority of Democrats in both houses of Congress oppose it. And Obama during his campaign for the presidency came out squarely against it.
But instead of putting the heat on the Republicans by revealing their hypocrisy of wanting the deficit reduced by cuts in spending on other programs in order to get their support for extending aid to the unemployed (but not so for extending tax cuts for the rich, even though this substantially adds billions to the deficit which the Republicans are so exercised about) Obama simply caved.
Proving once again this president is hardly the reincarnation of FDR (Roosevelt went directly to the people when faced with Republican intransigence knowing the people supported him over his Republican opponents) Obama showed he can simply be rolled over by the Republicans.
Now all this is happening during the lame duck session in Congress with Democrats in the majority. Come January the House majority returns to the Republicans. The Senate remains with the Democrats in the majority but unless the filibuster rule is modified (little chance) the Republicans will effectively block any Democrat sponsored measures.
So yesterday was the last chance for Obama to show backbone and challenge the Republicans, dare them to remain on the wrong side of extending unemployment benefits, on the wrong side of extending tax cuts for the rich and their hypocrisy on wanting to cut the deficit. Sadly it wasn't to be.
From here, yesterday was a harbinger of what to expect over the next two years; a weak president unable or unwilling to take on the Republicans.
That bodes ill for the country.