Sen. Tom Harkin seems to have a much better grasp of this whole "middle class" thing I keep hearing about:
HARKIN: Mr. President, I was disturbed to read in The Washington Post this morning that some kind of agreements are being made here. Somehow that Democrats have agreed to raise the level of, from $250,000 to $450,000, and that somehow there’s been an agreement reached that we would keep the estate taxes at the $5 million level, at 35%. Mr. President, this is one Democrat that doesn’t agree with that at all.
[...] Again, if we’re going to have some kind of a deal, the deal must be one that really does favor the middle class, the real middle class, those that are making $50,000, $60,000, $70,000 a year. that’s the real middle class in america. As I see this thing developing, quite frankly, as I’ve said before, no deal is better than a bad deal. and this looks like a very bad deal the way this is shaping up.
Greg Sargent says, basically, that to many of the Dems, half a loaf is better than none.