Green Room

Heads I win, tails you lose

posted at 1:40 pm on November 29, 2012 by

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!

Yes, if only these damned Republicans would actually commit to controversial but necessary entitlement reform plans on paper, then we might finally get somewhere.  What a bunch of cowards, right?


UPDATE
Politico is reporting on the same dynamic, so this really is a thing, it seems.

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Why are Republicans still negotiating? Just give Obama what he wants and let the whole economy go to hell… Just to be on record they need to put two bills to be voted on:

Bill # 1: Extend the Bush tax cuts to people making up to $ 200,000 a yaer per individual and $ 250,000 per couples. This bill will pass and signed by Obama.

Bill # 2: Also extend the Bush cut to people making more than $ 200,000 a year per individual and $ 250,000 per couples. This bill may not pass the democrat senate and for certain it will be vetoed by Obama. However Obama and the socialists now will own the disaster of taking the economy to hell by increasing taxes on the job creators.

So stop the negotiations and submit these two simple bills tomorrow for vote…

mnjg on November 29, 2012 at 1:58 PM

If we had people on our side, r’s that is, with an ounce of testosterone to ACTUALLY stand up FOR the US and the citizens who put/funded those worthless slugs to stand up for us, a huge herd of pigs would fly for months over dc! I am so sick of these spineless worms caving if they think for one minute that bhopress/d’s will say something nasty about them! bhopress/d’s WILL always say nasty things and blame r’s and those of us who voted for them for everything!
L

letget on November 29, 2012 at 2:02 PM

The people ignorant enough to support Obama and swallow the media line are going to blame the GOP no matter what.

The country is headed into a recession, as evidenced by the revised personal consumption numbers from the Q3 GDP (all of upward revision was government spending and inventories, personal expenditures are weakening). There is nothing to be done about it now.

Adjoran on November 29, 2012 at 3:13 PM

It’s “cojones“, not “cajones“.

/nitpick

TSUGambler on November 29, 2012 at 3:21 PM

I think the two bills for extending the Bush tax cuts are a great idea… but aside from that, if we’re going to give the Democrats what they want and let them see what actually happens, the Republicans will need to vote “present,” rather than actually voting FOR any of the Democrats’ bills. If we vote for them, they’ll come back and say they passed with bipartisan support. If we vote against them, they’ll say we’re obstructionist. The only way to let them get burned and have no one but themselves to blame is to vote “present” or abstain altogether. (Caveat: I have no knowledge of the parliamentary procedures used in House/Senate votes, so I’m not completely sure this is even possible. Feel free to enlighten me.)

TSUGambler on November 29, 2012 at 3:24 PM

TSUGambler

You are 100% correct. It will become a bi-partisan plan where no one could have seen the consequences – thus the blame falls on the Republicans for holding it up until December. In all reality, Obama could pass this by EO and the Republicans would still get all the blame and the media would be more than happy to push that.

Deets on November 29, 2012 at 4:43 PM