I will not take seriously the complaints of any pundit or columnist regarding the way Obama supposedly did not stand up on principle and take on Republicans in this tax cut compromise unless their rant includes some end-game description of what he could and should have done to achieve a different and better result.
I'm not saying there's no way the administration could have done better. But let's at least be honest about the real options he faced.
Mostly what they seem to have wanted was for him to play chicken and threaten the end of all the tax cuts, raising taxes on all of us in January - something he explicitly promised not to do in the campaign. Perhaps he should have been willing for that to happen, let the taxes go up, taking money out of the hands of middle class consumers while we are stumbling toward an economic recovery.
I imagine all of his advisors are telling him that raising taxes on the middle class not only directly violates a campaign pledge, it also threatens the economic recovery that is the most important issue, both for the country and for his re-election.