In brief remarks Monday evening, Obama said he was disappointed that the deal would extend breaks for the wealthiest households, but he warned Democrats not to make good on threats to allow all the cuts to expire, as an expression of the party’s opposition to preserving the top-rate cuts. “Sympathetic as I am to those who would prefer a fight to compromise — it would be the wrong thing to do,” the president said. “The American people didn’t send us here to wage symbolic battles.”
And that is the problem, isn’t it. The President just can’t conceive of actually fighting for anything, and in fact, he seems to view the notion with distaste.
So, yes, if you’re afraid/don’t know how to/don’t believe in fight(ing), you would per se see any fight as symbolic because you know you’re going to lose, simply because you’re opening strategy is always to throw the fight.
Symbolic battles. Try symbolic presidency.