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The GOP has another defection and they are losing this tax debate.  This morning on Morning Joe, two influential cons clearly said they would prefer to see the tax cuts passed for 98% of Americans now and deal with the other arguments later.

First, conservative Senator Coburn told the crew on Morning Joe that he would rather see the top rates go up than closing the loopholes.

Here's Sam Stein's tweet about it.

Then, Congressman Cole came on to double down on his previous comments about passing the tax cuts for 98% now. Here's his new cave:

So the only questions left:

When and how will these cons cave.

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Comment Preferences

  •  They also made clear that the price for the cave" (11+ / 0-)

    is significant "reforms" to entitlements, either now or as part of the debt ceiling negotiations in January.  Sen. Coburn made clear that Speaker Boehner's proposal of  $2.2 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years is too low for him.  

    I think the reason that you are hearing from some Republicans on this is that they want to change the dialogue from "Republicans won't cave on taxes" to "Democrats won't cave on deficit reduction."  

    •  Yes and they seem to really want a (9+ / 0-)

      private dinner with Obama, too!

      All of that distracting BS discussion about why they can't just all have a private meeting and make a deal - as if that would change anything at all in this situation.

      The Republicans are the problem.  They are intransigent.

      Personally, I think that the nay vote from the large majority of Republican Senators on the UN treaty protecting the disabled was a clear indicator that dinner parties are NOT going to solve our problems with this group of people.  Even Bob Dole sitting on the floor of the Senate in a wheel chair did not move them.  Having dinner with Obama - who most of them hate - would not change a thing.

      •  Frankly, I do think a better personal relationship (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Manny, VClib

        would help the situation.  Part of the problem here is that neither side trusts the other one.  Republicans are not going to raise taxes on the President's word that he'll set a goal of trying to find $400 billion in savings (what he said in his proposal), because they think that once they give him the tax increases, the spending cuts are not going to happen.  Same thing in reverse -- while the President says he is behind tax reform that flattens rates, broadens the base, and brings in more revenue, but he is not willing to give them anything on entitlements now and simply take the Republicans word that they will get it done over the next year.

        They also said, across the table on Morning Joe (i.e., not just Scarborough -- the others agreed) that the President simply doesn't have a relationship with Congress at all -- either Democrats or Republicans.  They gave examples of Clinton talking with and working with some Republicans on other matters while other Republicans were having impeachment hearings.  They gave famous examples of LBJ getting in front of Congress constantly to get things done.   That was one complaint about Jimmy Carter, frankly (and I'm old enough to remember that) is that he didn't know how to work with Congress.

        I'm not saying it's all one side's fault, but I do think that if there were those relationships, a compromise, where both sides give up something in order to get something, could happen.  I think it's not good for the country that politics has deteriorated to a point where the President and the Congressional opposition are both so distrustful of the other side that they can't even talk directly about the really important things.  

        I've done a lot of negotiations, and the basic rule that everybody knows is you don't reach a deal simply by demanding the other side give in.  If you are going to reach a deal, you have to be willing to give the other side some "victory" in something so that he/she can actually make that deal, and in exchange you have to be able to claim "victory" in some other aspect.  That's the only way a deal gets made -- by both sides understanding what the other side needs, and by finding a way to give both sides the minimum they need. Unfortunately when there's no personal relationship and both sides are simply focused on crushing the other side, deals are far, far, far less likely to happen.  I could craft a deal that gives each side a victory, even though it wouldn't be everything they want (Republicans need a victory on entitlements, the President needs a victory on taxes) but unfortunately, both sides seem dug in on the notion that they aren't going to let the other side get anything that could be played by the other side as a victory.  That's not how any deal gets made.  

        I know that a lot of people here think the goal is simply to crush the other side and not give them one scintella of compromise, and not let them have anything that can look like a victory to their constituents.  That's a personally satisfying position, but that's not how governing can happen when there's divided government.  And I think that attitude is a bad thing for the country, frankly.  

        •  You can't put this on Obama. (6+ / 0-)

          Your premise is based on the notion that the Republicans want to do a deal with the President.  

          The do NOT want to do a deal with him.  

          They want their way or the highway.  

          Their mission is to destroy Obama - to block anything and everything he attempts to do.  You can't negotiate with people like that.  Cokie Roberts provided the correct historical perspective on the show today and rightfully pointed out that the Tip and Ron days are not what we are dealing with now.

          Obama could not be any more "reasonable" than he has been.

          The Republicans are not only in an extremely counter-productive and destructive mode, but also a divided team of extremists and extreme extremists.  Having people like that over to dinner is just an invitation to having your dining room trashed.  They are not just obstructionists, they are also intent on destruction.

          My Mother gave me what I think was probably the best career advice I ever have had which is as follows: "Don't work for people who don't like you because no matter how hard you try or how well you deliver, they will never give you credit or help to advance your career."  This advice is apropos here, I think.  Trying to please people who will never be pleased with you is a pointless exercise.  

          That's why keeping this debate in the public realm makes so much sense.  The people who will be pleased with Obama will be the public who voted for him and some portion of the public who didn't who will also see the benefits of not suffering the extreme and destructive policies that the Republicans are currently putting forward.

          Anyway, Boehner is on TV insisting that he offered a proposal in good faith - meanwhile Mitch McConnell won't endorse it - but Boehner is demanding a meeting with the President to presumably have the President endorse his deal.

          Now Cantor is also demanding a meeting.  Brats.

          •  I put it only in part on the President (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            even his supporters say he has not made any attempt to have a personal relationship with Congress -- even members of his own party in Congress.  That was the discussion this morning, and not just from Joe Scarborough, but also from everyone else.  The President has not done the reaching out to Congress, on an individual level, that other Presidents have done.

            Read Woodward's book to get an indication of the lack of working relationship.  

            I ALSO put blame on the partisan Republicans, and partisan Democrats as well, who both think that the only goal is to defeat the other side rather than to work out a deal.  They both are reacting to a political base that says, "don't work with the other side!  Don't give them anything!  Don't compromise!"  McConnell made that clear in his "the goal is to defeat Obama" statement, and as for the partisan Democratic base saying "No compromise," well, read this site and you'll see plenty of that.  

            And your mother's advice doesn't apply here. That is for a situation where you have a choice whether you are going to work with someone or not.  There is no choice whether to "work with" the other side or not in divided government.  The people of America forced them into a situation where they HAVE to work with the other side.  Even if they detest them. That's the nature of divided government.  Nothing happens unless it passes the House and Senate and gets the President's signature.  So, they each have to work with the other side -- no matter how much they detest them -- or nothing gets accomplished.  

            Prior governments have managed to get things done when they detested the other side.  (There was seldom more hatred than between President Clinton and the Gingrich Republicans.)  Prior governments have managed to have a working relationship with the other side (Reagan and Speaker O'Neill) despite being polar opposites politically.  I put blame on everybody involved -- including the political bases that push the politicians to take that attitude --  that it is not happening now.  

            •  Obama has several choices here. (0+ / 0-)

              He's always had the choice between doing what's right for "The People" or working for the Congress - all Presidents encounter that choice during their tenures.  Obama is working for voters - as the Republicans should also be, but are not.

              Furthermore, even when the Republicans were in the minority, Obama gave them a TON of deference - and they always found a way to stab him in the back immediately after taking his offers.

              In any case, it is the Republicans who have chosen time and again not to work with the President - not the other way around.

              I guess you're okay with Obama allowing the Republicans to dismantle Social Security and Medicare; or you don't have the stomach to fight for them.  I don't really care which ails you here, but I'm glad that Obama is finally showing that he can draw a line in the sand to protect people in this country even if it makes Boehner cry and provokes a Cantor tantrum.

              Oh and by the way, that Gingrich Clinton working together thing?  What a fucking crock.  How quickly people forget that Gingrich allowed the government to be shut down because he was so intractable.  Ronnie Reagan and Tip O'Neill were RAISING taxes much of their time together - and the deficit was grossly inflated under Reagan.  At least if people are going to invoke history, they could use more historically accurate and substantively similar examples than those two are.

        •  Who cares what they said across the table on (0+ / 0-)

          Morning Joe? You're giving too much credit to what they said to entertain.It's ridiculous to assume/accept that the President has no relationship with democrats unless you believe everything they said on Morning Joe.You assume that a lot of people here think the goal is simply to crush the other side BUT your assumption does not apply to the Republicans.So much for your skills of negotiation. In fact you have  a preconceived idea and it's clear you're trying to make the point that the President and his supporters are the problem.

          •  Read the Woodward book (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            It generally confirms that.  

            And this is just wrong:  

            You assume that a lot of people here think the goal is simply to crush the other side BUT your assumption does not apply to the Republicans.
            I absolutely, absolutely make the same assumption about the Republicans.  Absolutely.  McConnell's "goal is to defeat the President" makes that clear.  

            I think that BOTH sides are operating under an assumption that the goal is not to make a deal (because that would necessitate giving the other side something that they can use to claim victory, and neither side wants to do that).  I assume that BOTH sides are operating under an assumption that the goal is to crush the other side -- because that is what their bases are pushing them to do.  The bases -- neither the Republican base nor the Democratic base -- are not pushing for a deal, they are pushing for complete victory giving the other side nothing, which necessarily means no deal.  

            •  You really seem to have some deep beliefs (0+ / 0-)

              Sometimes it's better to have some doubts.

              •  Actually, it's deep frustration (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                with both sides.  I don't think the President's "offer" was a serious, good faith attempt to reach a deal.  It was political posturing.  The "and forever give up your constitutional authority to authorize an increase in the debt limit" was the point that made it clear to me.

                I don't think the Republicans' offer was all that much a serious, good faith attempt to reach a deal, either -- the "no tax rate increases under any circumstances" part said that.  It was political posturing as well.  

                It's pretty clear what needs to happen if there's going to be a deal.  There are going to have to be tax rate increases -- perhaps smaller than the President proposed, and/or on higher income levels, in addition to closing loopholes and deductions --  and there are going to have to be changes to Medicare, because it is indisputable that Medicare is on a completely unsustainable trajectory.  Rational Democrats recognize that.

                 I do not see an indication from either side that they are willing to come to a deal on those terms.  

      •  Obama should have someone tell them (4+ / 0-)

        he's sleeping and can't take their call.

        Buy Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand, and tear Ayn and the GOP new orifices. Plus, I get a small royalty, and Jeff Bezos and his employees get the rest. Not a bad deal, as CEO Bezos is not much of a dick, relatively speaking. @floydbluealdus1

        by Floyd Blue on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 07:00:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  First they have to sort out their own coalition (6+ / 0-)

    on the Republican side.  McConnell has declined to endorse Boehner's plan - that's actually more significant than people realize - and if I were Obama, I'd tell them to get their act together - sending over a plan upon which the top Republicans can't all agree is just more bad faith bullshit from them and a waste of time.

  •  Closing loopholes is important, but (0+ / 0-)

    it should be done in a considered way. Shooting darts at our tax code is what's gotten us into the mess we have. All loopholes should be on the table, not just conservative hobby horses.

    “Social Security has nothing to do with balancing a budget or erasing or lowering the deficit.” -- Ronald Reagan, 1984 debate with Walter Mondale

    by RJDixon74135 on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 06:18:24 AM PST

  •  I've read repeatedly that the deficit is being (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    inclusiveheart, FiredUpInCA, jdld

    reduced as we speak through Obamacare and other budget workings.

    Is this true, or are the savings still just predictions?

    And if true, why hasn't the NYT (which I don't follow) noticed?

    "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

    by glorificus on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 06:30:38 AM PST

  •  Obama will force GOP to name cuts in entitlements (5+ / 0-)

    it wants - he will get the GOP on the record in writing before he will "deal".  that way the GOP cannot run ads in 2014 against Dems for those cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Soc Security.  If Obama fails to do this essential step, the final package will be a political failure for Dems who are on the ballot in 2014.   I hope he is smart enough not to fall into the GOP trap (again).

  •  This thing is cracking. My Okie Senator and my (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA, johnel, BleacherBum153

    Okie Congressman have both come out for higher tax rates.

    Expect to see Oklahoma legalizing pot next year (rather than merely growing it as a cash crop).

    Liberals: Taking crap for being right since before you were born. - Driftglass (and the amazing Professional Left Podcast at

    by briefer on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 06:57:31 AM PST

  •  This chart shows it all (0+ / 0-)

    This shows where all the money went for the last 30 years or so, and if Republicans are so concerned about the debt, let's get the people who gained advantage from that debt to pay it down.
    Those who complain the most owe the most.

    "Closing loopholes" may provide some benefit, but that's not where the meat is.

    Everybody got to elevate from the norm....

    by Icicle68 on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 07:27:37 AM PST

  •  Damnit, it's not 98% getting this tax cut! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jdld, rja

    It's 100%.  The question is whether the upper 2% get yet another tax cut above and beyond what everyone else gets.  

    No media person should let them get away with this (at least not any that care that they could be labeled liars and Republican patsies).

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