I have to admit, I was a bit worried by the debt limit ceiling gambit. It just seemed that the Republicans didn't have any real leverage to force Obama to cut spending, as shutting down many government services or defaulting would not have been a very positive outcome for the Republicans in terms of the 2012 elections. Independents might have flocked to the Democrats as fast as they flocked from them in the runup to 2010. Somehow, the Republicans were able to score a major victory. First, Obama was demanding a clean debt increase, he had to go back on that, even endorsing major entitlement reform in the process. Then, he demanded that there be tax increases in the plan, which even Senate Democrats backed away from, offering up a bill with only spending cuts. Republicans have come out of this process looking like people who both stand up for what they believe in AND as people willing to compromise to get the deal done. Obama looks like he is neither. He wanted a clean debt increase, then said he was too busy to be involved with the negotiations then said he wanted major reform that included major tax increases. He kept banging the tax increase drum up until the end, even after tax increases were dumped by representatives of his own party. No wonder his poll numbers are dropping.
Now on to 2012. Hopefully we can get some real change and a real recovery after the next election (I don't think a real recovery can come under Obama, who wants to raise taxes first and ask questions later). I realize the compromise debt ceiling plan is a subprime level downpayment on that change, but at least it is a downpayment.