Ezra Klein laments:
[T]he disappointment is more total than I can remember it being at any time since the debt-ceiling crisis. I literally have not had one conversation in the last 24 hours in which the person on the other side of the phone tilted positive on the deal.
Most of those conversations have been off-the-record. But you can see a similar level of frustration among liberal pundits. New York’s Jonathan Chait, who’s typically pretty friendly to the White House’s strategic thinking, says that “What we have now is a spectrum of outcomes that will play itself out over the next few months, ranging from ‘okay’ to ‘terrible.’” The New Republic’s Noam Scheiber says he’s “in the pessimistic camp.” Paul Krugman is relatively unbothered by the specifics of the deal, but is “despondent” over the way the president negotiated.
Meanwhile, the more strategic thinkers on the right are elated. Grover Norquist can barely contain his excitement. Yuval Levin says Republicans “probably couldn’t have done much better.” Ross Douthat takes the long view: “The lesson of these negotiations seems to be that Democrats are still skittish about anything that ever-so-remotely resembles a middle class tax increase, let alone the much larger tax increases (which would eventually have to hit people making well below $100,000 as well) that their philosophy of government ultimately demands.
Translation: Without middle class tax increases, the left can’t fund the welfare state.