Heads I win, tails you lose
posted at 1:40 pm on November 29, 2012 by Guy Benson
This National Journal story popped up in the headlines earlier, but I think it merits a slightly closer look. The rub:
Senate Democrats say they have made their opening bid on the revenue side by pushing House Republicans to approve a Senate-passed bill to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class while raising tax rates on the wealthy. Now, Democrats want Republicans to offer up the spending cuts they want to see – a move the GOP doesn’t seem inclined to make right now … For their part, Republicans argue that they have passed a budget that included significant entitlement reforms and now it’s up to the president to say what cuts he will support.
I’ll admit it. Sometimes I find myself taken by a perverse admiration for Democrats’ sheer cajones. Here’s how I describe their magnanimous “negotiating” posture over at Townhall:
Democrats’ “opening bid” is an insistence that Republicans agree to (job-killing,drop-in-the-deficit-bucket) tax increases on the rich. This offer involves precisely zero compromise on their part, of course. Their next bold move is to say, “ok, guys, now that we’ve repeated ourselves for the umpteenth time on stickin’ it to the rich for jollies, it’s time for you to outline specific entitlement cuts that we can use to paint you as heartless bastards.” … Perhaps this is what Dick Durbin meant when he said entitlement reform should be “on the table.” It’ll only be on the table in the sense that Democrats will continue to commit to jack squat, using the safety of their do-nothing crouch to attack the only meaningful ideas being offered by either side. In short: You give us everything we want, then you do the politically-risky heavy lifting on everything else, which we’ll probably just use to batter you over the head anyway. Compromise!
UPDATE – Politico is reporting on the same dynamic, so this really is a thing, it seems.