Skip to main content

Cranky Faced Baby in Santa outfit for Christmas
Generic House Republican
Merry post-Christmas:
President Barack Obama is due back in Washington early Thursday for a final effort to negotiate a deal with Congress to avert or at least postpone the "fiscal cliff" of tax increases and government spending cuts set to begin next week.
And he'll have company:
Meanwhile, both chambers of Congress will come back from their holiday hiatus on Thursday and return to work.
Of course "return to work" implies that before leaving town Congress was actually engaged in something productive. Instead, the last thing House Republicans did before leaving town was to continue holding middle-class tax cuts hostage by refusing to even vote on John Boehner's "Plan B" to cut taxes on all income below $1 million.

At this point, the most plausible sort of deal would seem to be one in which tax cuts for all income below a certain threshold are extended and sequester cuts are put on hold. Although that would leave important issues like unemployment benefits and Hurricane Sandy relief unsettled, it would avoid much of the fiscal cliff deficit reduction that threatens the economy, at least for a time. (Side note: Isn't it fun that the whole debate here is about how to increase the budget deficit?)

The thing is, for a deal such as that to pass, you'd need Senate Republicans to agree not to filibuster it and you'd need John Boehner agree to put a bill on the floor that would pass primarily with Democratic votes. If Boehner did that, however, he might as well resign as Speaker—unless House Republicans are willing to admit they took kabuki to a new extreme last week when they blocked Plan B. And the last time Mitch McConnell agreed to not use the filibuster during the Obama presidency was ... well, never.

Given that Republican political dysfunction remains the biggest hurdle to overcome, I think it's fair to blame them for the absurdity of this "fiscal cliff" idiocy. But at the same time, President Obama and congressional Democrats need to be prepared to let that dysfunction play itself out. If all they do is promise to do whatever it takes to get a deal done and beg Republicans to to come to their senses, then the GOP will never have any incentive to compromise and their dysfunction will continue to grow. In other words, if the goal is to get Republicans to compromise, then they need to pay a price for refusing to do so.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 06:46 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site