Even the editors NYT say it like it is:
The Republicans gave up very little except for their unconscionable stance of holding up all other Congressional action until they ensured that the richest Americans keep their tax cuts.Can we can see in this capitulation something that is to Obama's left what "read my lips...." was to Bush the 1st's right? I think so. I think the political cost will be that significant. Obama's only hope, then, is that the $800 billion resuscitates American over-production, over-prosperity just in time for reelection.
The tax cuts were not affordable when they were passed and are even less affordable now — with unpaid-for wars, with a weak economy crying out for recovery efforts, with the nation’s infrastructure and education system increasingly decrepit, and with retiring baby boomers inexorably driving up health costs and the budget deficit in the decades to come.
The Economist, which sees the capitulation as America's postponement of Germanic austerity measures (liberals strangely find themselves at one with neoliberals, but for completely different reasons), has this to say:
Politically, it’s hard to see this as anything but a loss for Mr Obama. First, he vowed not to extend the tax cuts for the rich, then sought to extend them only temporarily while making the rest permanent. Republicans forced him to retreat on both counts. They also put all other legislation, including the START nuclear arms treaty, on hold until the tax issue was finished. (The administration official disputed this interpretation, noting that a stronger economy in the next year or two works against Republican hopes of denying Mr Obama a second term.)If this turns out to be the case, if Obama rides into a second term on a wave of over-prosperity, his presidency will in essence be identical to Clinton's. If it doesn't, it will be identical to Bush the 1st's.