The tax cut extension was a good idea, but Obama's rationale and rhetoric are quite telling. No one forced his hand on this, but he caved on his campaign pledges and (ridiculously) likened the GOP leadership to hostage-takers with whom he wouldn't negotiate . . . unless . . . always an "unless" with this guy . . . unless refusing to negotiate would bring harm to the hostage.
Great. Wonderful way to telegraph weakness to the Terrorists, innit?
[ADDENDUM: I guess strength in the Obama paradigm, when it comes to the Terrorists, is to continue the Cheney-era lawbreaking. If he wants to equate strength with cheating - this is what our political system today has come to, isn't it - he should just say so.]
[ADDENDUM #2: Ever the Machiavellian mentality, Obama played politics on these tax cut extensions. He waited for the November election returns before deciding on the issue. In the 2008 primaries, he told his left-wing DailyKos/reddit/ThinkProgress/Soros base what it wanted to hear, and now he screws them over. All the while, Obama's Machiavellianism seems to go over really well on the increasingly boring, short-term-oriented, small-fry-focused Daily Dish - an insidious effect of adopting a Hayekian over a Randian paradigm. WEAK!]