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So Much for Civility: Times Embraces Obama's 'Hostage-Taking' Rhetoric

The sedate, responsible New York Times advances the cause of civility on its editorial page: "President Obama was right to use the metaphor of hostage-taking to describe the Republicans' tactics."

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.