The Times lead editorial on Wednesday, "Voting for an Odious Tax Deal" asserted that Obama was right to agree to the tax-cut compromise with Republicans - and also right to compare Republican tactics to taking hostages.
President Obama was right to use the metaphor of hostage-taking to describe the Republicans' tactics. Using the parliamentary rules of the Senate, 42 Republican senators threatened to raise middle-class taxes if Democrats let tax cuts expire on the richest 2 percent of Americans. That left the White House and the Democrats little room to maneuver. "I think it's tempting not to negotiate with hostage-takers, unless the hostage gets harmed," Mr. Obama said at his news conference on Tuesday.