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Chuck Schumer
Sen. Schumer is having some fun at the GOP's expense.
Democrats are feeling their oats these days, projecting increasing confidence that Republicans will capitulate on middle class taxes in the end-of-the-year battle over tax and spending cuts, otherwise known as the fiscal cliff. There's House Democratic leader threatening to use a discharge petition to try to force a vote on middle-class tax cuts in the House, and there's tough talk from Democrats, including the White House, on their willingness to let Jan. 1, 2013 come and go without a deal.

They get that they have the upper hand in this, and are showing it.

“You can smell the winds,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), No. 3 in his party’s leadership, said Thursday. “When so many Republicans say, ‘Hey, we’re going to have to give into the Democrats,’ that’s how it works around here. That’s the beginning.”

Democratic leaders in the House see the same erosion among Republicans on tax hikes for the wealthy. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) likened her party’s unity to last year’s payroll tax holiday fight, in which Republicans eventually capitulated and passed a plan they once opposed. Asked if the GOP would buckle, Pelosi said, “I wouldn’t say buckle. See the light might be a better term.”

If there is really a wedge that can be driven into the Republican monolith on tax cuts, Pelosi's discharge petition could strike the first blow. In the meantime, Democrats are unified in keeping the focus primarily on those tax cuts, and not letting Republicans goad them into committing to specific cuts.
[U]nlike the Democrats’ calls for higher taxes on rich Americans, the GOP’s preferred Medicare cuts are deeply unpopular. So they’re trying to cow Democrats into proposing these cuts first—to effectively author both sides of the proposal—and provide them political cover.

“We’ve come down with ours. We’re still waiting for theirs. That’s the status of the negotiations,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in the Capitol Thursday, laughing off the GOP’s demand.

Laughing at the GOP's demands is the best strategy. Good to see it being deployed.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 11:53 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You're right, Joan. (29+ / 0-)
    Laughing at the GOP's demands is the best strategy. Good to see it being deployed.
    Man, I love this.  Hope it keeps up.
  •  This is what winning is. (15+ / 0-)

    Ultimately, the only thing that matters with respect to preserving choice is who will be nominating the next Supreme Court Justices.

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 12:06:09 PM PST

  •  While the Republicans are staggering around (22+ / 0-)

    trying to make sense of this new-found Democratic aggressiveness, the Dems should throw in extending the unemployment benefits for the millions that are going to get cut off next year.

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 12:06:11 PM PST

  •  Before you gloat (11+ / 0-)

    Ed Rendell is once again opening his big fat mouth to tell us that Obama isn't serious with his opening proposal.  He's really going to accept much, much, bigger cuts in spending and much bigger cuts in entitlements and according to Benedict Arnold Rendell they can't all come from providers.

    The villagers still intend to screw the poor and the elderly.  So we shall see how deep the BS gets.

  •  Thanks for this encouraging report Joan. I like (5+ / 0-)

    the sound of this discharge petition idea which I need learn more about the details.

    Wouldn't it make sense from a bargaining power and bully pulpit  perspective for the Senate to propose, and pass if possible several specific bills so President Obama, and House Minority Leader Pelosi can wave it before cheering crowds saying Speaker  Boehner, tear down these taxes on the middle class!" (al la Reagan "tear  down this wall.")

    Put just the middle class tax cut for those earning less than $250,000 in a single bill and let President Obama and Democratic leaders waive it before crowds saying unless the intransigent House Republicans pass this before January 1, the average American working person will pay $2,000 a year more in taxes, (or whatever it is.)

    Was it Foucalt who said "nothing sharpens a man's concentration like the sound of the falling guillotine."

    Let the Republicans feel the power of "force" in as many specific ways as possible.

    Same with the doctors fix, payroll tax (although I'd prefer letting this return and make it up with a greater tax cut), debt ceiling.   Put them in separate bills and in combinations and have the Senate vote an every one.  I bet we can get four or five crossovers and same in the Senate.

    This bullshit of waiting to hear what Senator Boehner finds fair, or inspiring has been discouraging. Let's pull all the stops and show them a preview of what hardball politics  is going to looks like in 2013.  

    Also, consider the advantage of President Obama surpassing what former President Ronald Reagan did with his standoff of FAA flight controllers.  Historians tell us this victory set the tone for the rest of his term and gave him great power.  

    Why not do the same and make this a "leagacy term" for President Obama?  But, do do this we need to change the tone and nip this mealy mouth Republican bullshit in the bud before it spread into the second term with some electioneering like discipline.  

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 12:20:43 PM PST

    •  I disagree with you on payroll tax (0+ / 0-)

      62% of Americans pay more in payroll taxes than income tax. And the payroll tax is more regressive, since it applies to the first dollar of everyone's income. I would rather see less of an income tax cut for those making under $250k in exchange for a lower payroll tax rate.

    •  I love the idea of the discharge petition (5+ / 0-)

      It puts Republicans in the House on the spot - individually.

      Other tax bills would never get through the Senate under current filibuster rules. Now come January, if Senate Dems finally wise up and reform the filibuster, all of these bills could present a delicious quandry for Senate Republicans - vote for the Democrats' bills, or stand in front of cameras on the Senate floor and filibuster middle class tax relief. OMG, that would be fun to watch.

      It is long past time for Americans to understand why Congress gets so little done. It's name is Mitch McConnell.

      Filibuster reform now. No more Gentleman's agreements.

      by bear83 on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 12:56:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  bear - Nancy needs to find 25 Republicans to sign (0+ / 0-)

        her discharge petition or else it has no legislative value. I like that she is trying, and I think it is a very good tactic, but unless she can find those 25 signatures nothing will come to the House floor for a vote. I don't think the Senate tax bills (which in theory are supposed to all originate in the House) are a problem for Republicans in the Senate because they know they will never see the light of day in the House.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 12:11:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Senate's already done (5+ / 0-)

      the $250K bill as a stand alone. It's ready and waiting. I don't think there's time to anything else in the Senate. They've got a backlog of non-fiscal cliff things to get through in the next few weeks.

      I'd much rather see UI as a stand alone than payroll tax.

      "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

      by Joan McCarter on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:18:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  President Obama going on the offensive and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfromga, highacidity

    now the Democrats following his lead. It is going exactly like the payroll tax fight, which exhibited similar dynamics.

    •  Hope he keeps upping the ante (0+ / 0-)

      Last year's offer during debt ceiling negotiations was a great offer (for Republicans)--they declined.

      Lets let them know they better take this deal because the next one will be worse (for them)

  •  If they are expecting details from the GOP (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Womantrust, spooks51

    it could be a really, really long wait.

    For at least the last two years, every GOP proposal has been presented as three circles and a line, with Luntz-approved messaging inside the circles.

    Circle tax cut, Circle entitlement cut, line, circle profit.

    This is the crew that produced a budget proposal without any numbers in it.

    Math is hard (as their internal poling results prove)

    ad astra per alia porci

    by harrije on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 12:53:37 PM PST

  •  I don't think that the Republicans will give in (6+ / 0-)

    even though things will get even rougher for them Jan 1 when we HOP OFF THE FISCAL CURB.

    On Jan 1, they will have to defend that fact they allowed taxes to rise for everyone by not allowing the extensions of the Bush era tax cuts for the first $250,000 of income for all individuals.

    If they think that is a winning hand for them, then have it ladies and gentlemen. There a few women in the GOP caucus right?

    It takes time to practice generosity, but being generous is the best use of our time. - Thich Nhat Hanh.

    by Frank In WA on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 03:57:21 PM PST

  •  I'll believe it after I see it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And even then I might not believe it.

  •  Someone needs to point out that Boehner's (4+ / 0-)

    "it's not a serious proposal" is not a serious response.

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:05:53 PM PST

  •  not wanting to go way out on a limb (5+ / 0-)

    but it looks like the Dems in Congress and the White House have learned the art of coordinated hardball negociations.

    It's been a good November for our team. Here's looking ahead to more big wins in December and beyond.

    Victory is sweet-November 6, 2012

    by al23 on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:08:57 PM PST

  •  Love this.. (13+ / 0-)
    Asked if the GOP would buckle, Pelosi said, “I wouldn’t say buckle. See the light might be a better term.”
    It's almost what Gandhi said, badly paraphrased as follows:

    The object of resistance is not to bring your opponent to his knees, it is to bring him to his senses.

    Your black cards can make you money, so you hide them when you're able; in the land of milk and honey, you must put them on the table - Steely Dan

    by OrdinaryIowan on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:10:47 PM PST

    •  Love THIS (0+ / 0-)

      Love your comparing Pelosi's quote to Gandi's paraphrase. Nice catch.

      I also love your sig! It's now playing in my head... which is a welcome change from the theme music for Dollhouse. So thanks!

  •  You know, I realized today that I don't mind if (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Womantrust, OldDragon, Magenta

    tax cuts expire and they go up on everyone. And I don't know many people who are poorer than me.

    But the truth is that Americans don't pay enough in taxes. I think that may be why we also have a high infant mortality rate, a low life expectency, and a low quality of life compared to other industrialized nations - who pay more in taxes.

    For sure the wealthy should pay more or their fair share. But this is a win-win. The US gets more money (which hopefully they will spend wisely) and the Republicans look like the bad guys.

    Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

    by ZenTrainer on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:15:47 PM PST

  •  This is a win-win for them. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Womantrust, azale, VClib, Timothy J

    Republicans don't really want to see the world burn.  I am convinced of this.  They just want to appear more hardass and fiscally conservative than the other guy.

    So if they put up a huge stink and then cave, the nation can begin the repair work it so badly needs, while they can go back to their Sheldon Atkinson base and say, "we did our best, but those goddam socialists won this round.  Now we need to spend twice as much on the next election."

    Everybody wins!

    Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

    by Boundegar on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:21:33 PM PST

    •  Boundegar - I kinda of think this too (0+ / 0-)

      There are lots of Republican members of Congress who would like to see the deficit cut in half. They would prefer that it be done with budget cuts rather than taxes, but they will be secretly happy if we go off the fiscal curb and no deal is ever done.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 12:14:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some of them passed high school math. (0+ / 0-)

        Some of them know that even if every social program was slashed to zero - even if the entire Federal government was fired - it wouldn't cut the deficit in half.

        Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

        by Boundegar on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 07:12:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  More than the upper hand, we have the cards we ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ... need.

    The House has to act by the end of the year or tax rates go up for the majority of Americans - a huge range of taxpayers from those who pay very little Federal income tax to those making $250,000. So actually, the victims are much more numerous than the proverbial "middle class."

    Boehner & Co. can try to burden Obama to put his spending proposals forward (which he certainly has before!), but Obama needn't do more now, not to handle the most immediate issue of fairness in taxes. Yes, there's a "Fiscal Something" coming with sequestration issues and the debt ceiling, but this is shades of last year. The Tea Party folk - a smaller number of whom will be around when the next Congress begins in 2013 - can be as obdurate as they were before about "taking hostage", but that will be even more obvious now ... and now, it has the potential to tar every Republican member of Congress ...

    ... putting enormous pressure on any Republican who might have a marginal district in 2014, as well as turning up the heat on those Republicans who really do want to proceed with meaningful legislation ... and want the reputation of doing so.

    The GOP and its apologists may refuse to acknowledge that anything important happened in November 2012 or try to put the onus on Democrats for not being bipartisan, but they sound very hollow to all but diehards. And there weren't enough GOP diehards in 2012 to avoid Republican losses.

    Wisdom from the business world:

    If the people won't change,
    change the people.

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House.

    by TRPChicago on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:24:53 PM PST

    •  TRP - the House GOP doesn't have to do anything (0+ / 0-)

      the next elections are two years from now. Who will remember the 112th lame duck session? There will be lots of political battles between now and Nov 2014. I just don't see the pressure on the GOP that most here think is happening. It's our voters who will be hurt the most, losing extended unemployment benefits, and having higher payroll and income taxes. The over $250,000 crowd will have modest income tax increases but they won't be feeling any hardship.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 12:19:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Unpack this for me. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The GOP, you're saying, won't feel pressure because their voters won't notice much and our voters will be hurt? And the time period that counts is two years out, so everyone will have forgotten?

        Well, "their voters" may not feel much of a hit ... but their own taxes seem to be their EVERYthing. And to the GOP, increasing the top brackets and decoupling them from the others is significant and very symbolic. Else, why would Romney have staked so much on it during the campaign, and the Congressional GOP being so belligerent about it?

        I don't understand your "our voters" group and the suggestion that the GOP needn't pay attention to them.

        -  The hurt will start in January 2013 when paychecks reflect added withholding. And it will continue, an ongoing plodge the GOP will have laid on the doorstep of every American family with an employed member(s) of the household. (Will the public know it was the GOP who did it to 'em? Increases for payroll taxes and income tax? Oh, yeah!)

        -  For the purpose of this tax issue, that's everyone who pays Federal income tax below $250K, a huge group.

        -  Enough of them are up for grabs in every election, swing states and demographics aside. Romney's chief strategist Stuart Stephens wrote in WaPo that they (meaning, of course, he) "...carried the majority of every economic group except those with less than $50,000 a year in household income. That means [Romney] carried the majority of middle-class voters."

        Of course that is a skewed and misleading way of looking at it, but that's someone high in the campaign on record inside the Beltway. That'll scare GOP officeholders and wannabes!

        2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House.

        by TRPChicago on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 06:12:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry, Schumer (0+ / 0-)

    Last thing I want to do is to be downwind of a GOP congresscritter.

    Make sure everyone's vote counts: Verified Voting

    by sacrelicious on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:25:16 PM PST

  •  We have to recognize that the GOP House (6+ / 0-)

    and Senate members are as unskewed as their pollsters.

    They are operating with flawed assumptions and that means they aren't going to recognize the negative impact in policy and political terms of their approach.

    They are intent on testing Obama's mettle to see if he is truly willing to see taxes go up on all Americans in order to get his tax increases for the wealthy. The debate will shift in his favor once he follows through on his commitment to end the Bush tax cuts for the top tax brackets.

    It's similar to what happened during the Government shutdown. The GOP didn't realize that they had to cave until Clinton vetoed their budget.  They never believed he would and when he did and was willing to defend the move, they were left flat footed and speechless.  Same thing will happen here if Obama continues to show his resolve and commitment.

    Alternative rock with something to say:

    by khyber900 on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:29:28 PM PST

    •  They only win against weakness (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ranton, khyber900, Timothy J

      Their entire game plan is based on detecting and exploiting weakness. Once their intended victim develops some strength and realizes what going on, game's over. They have no Plan B. This is why every offer they come back with is the same exact offer as before, that they'll agree to raise revenuues but not tax rates in exchange for huge entitlement cuts. They've done this a dozen times already. I don't think it's because they think that with each round Obama looks weaker and is more likely to break. Perhaps they kid themselves that he will, and perhaps he might (but I doubt it). But basically, it's literally all they've got, a bluff.

      And Obama is finally calling it.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:57:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bullies. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        They never do know what to do when the bluff is called.

        Dear GOP,

        Go sell your plan to raise taxes on everyone rather than holding them for 98 percent of the population because that 2 percent is important. Go ahead. Do it. Sell that to the American people who just rejected that message a few weeks ago. Dare you.

        by Magenta on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 06:22:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No need to dare (0+ / 0-)

          They're doing it before out eyes. They tell themselves that it's principle, when it fact it's idiocy, delusion, denial and arrogance--and not a little disinginuity.

          The curtain is pulled back to reveal...a toad.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 07:48:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Despite my normal cynicism, I am starting to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    feel that this could be fun!

    Hey, Republicans, the whole world is watching.

    by TAH from SLC on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:30:42 PM PST

  •  Groupthink (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldDragon, Womantrust, ranton, Timothy J

    is what kept the Republicans believing Romney would win the 2012 election. To use a historic example, it's what kept the politicians believing the Vietnam war was "winnable," so they kept funneling more and more troops and more and more resources towards their doomed goal. Groupthink is operating currently in Republican resistance to the middle-class tax cuts.

    They are in an echo chamber. They have no idea how they are being viewed.

    Our rhetorical genius is in separating tax cuts for the 99%, in the public's mind, from tax cuts for the 1%.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:30:58 PM PST

  •  Laughing is very good (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Mel Brooks said that laughter robs evil of its power.  

  •  CAn we discuss the phrase, "Smell the winds"? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, kovie, azale, Matt Z
  •  Who cares? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Bring on the fiscal speed bump.

    Show us your tax returns !!!!!!

    by Bush Bites on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:40:47 PM PST

  •  They don't have to give in on taxes (0+ / 0-)

    The calendar will do that for them, and they'll be able to hold their heads up high and say that technically, they didn't vote for a tax increase (except when they did vote for a tax increase when they voted for the sequester that would raise taxes, but that's so 2011 and you're not the boss of me lalalala I'm not listening).

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:49:15 PM PST

  •  Thank goodness. (0+ / 0-)

    Why on earth should Obama or Democrats in general outline unpopular cuts to popular programs?

    Republicans lost. They lost a lot. Why should the Democrats give them a huge gift by outlining the unpopular cuts. The GOP knows what they want to cut. Let them tell the people and give it a sell.

    by Magenta on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 06:15:29 PM PST

  •  Chuck Schumer knows all about sniffing (0+ / 0-)

    "wind".   And wasn't he the guy on tv just a few months ago telling us that we should be mad at Republicans for refusing to help Democrats pass the Republican agenda?

  •  What will we modify? (0+ / 0-)

    Does  Sen. Schumer have an idea about what we will contribute to the reduction in debt according to what Wall Street says it can barely tolerate?

  •  pres, dem bigs asking for public to push congress (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but how many concerned citizens are 1000 RW radio stations worth?

    any GOP rep that looks like they might go dem will be named and attacked by their state RW stations as well as by the national blowhards like limbaugh and hannity.

    the saddest part of the left's underestimation and ignorance of talk radio is all the citizen activism and small donations that a few ignorant carnival barkers reading chamber of commerce and GOP talking points can undo.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 06:38:30 PM PST

    •  to continue.... (0+ / 0-)

      one reason radio is so effective like that is that they are coordinated by the RW think tanks.

       so whereas the dems calling for citizen input will generate general and generally polite feedback to dems to encourage them not to cave, the local carnival barkers on the state megastations will get instructions to attack so and so at a particular time for thinking about breaking ranks, resulting in a well timed campaign of outraged tea nuts and former contributors screaming into phones, emails, and faxes about how treasonous it would be to side with the traitor in the white house who, for instance, ordered navy seals not to rescue the embassador in benghazi, etc.

      This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

      by certainot on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 06:52:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Two good strategies (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Timothy J

    "Laughing at the GOP's demands is the best strategy. Good to see it being deployed."

    Another good strategy is for Barak Obama to do what he did today -- take the fight to the American people.  The Republicans will never listen to him and the Democrats; they are too full of themselves to do so.  But the people WILL listen to him and them.  After all, the focus on the middle-class tax cuts was a major factor in Obama's reelection.

    Just keep painting the Republicans as the bogeyman.  Their vanity will kick in eventually, and they will see that the only winning situation for them is to work with Obama and the Democrats.  Just be patient and let it happen.

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