The President set this up very well politically. A few Republicans, having learned some difficult mathematical reality on election night, are now facing reality on the Bush tax cuts. My new hero is a Reality Republican Congressman from Nebraska:
Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., signed Norquist's pledge but says now that he's open to a deal that includes some new tax revenues. . . . “We're screwed either way,” Terry said. “We really have no leverage in these discussions.”
|Representative Lee Terry, Republican, Nebraska's 2nd Congressional District|
Betting on his win of a second term, the President set up this fiscal cliff trap for the Republicans some time ago. It has to be avoided. If they vote to raise any type of taxes, they break their grover pledges and are subject to a challenge from the tea party right-wing of their party in the primaries of 2014. If they don't support a deal and we go off the cliff, even for a short time, the markets (one of their natural constituencies) and the people at large, will not be too happy - not to mention the whole military-industrial complex (another natural constituency in spite of warnings from Pres. Eisenhower), that will also be at serious risk. They will be blamed and weakened politically either way, so maybe the Democrats' chances in the 2014 mid-terms could be looking up - not to mention our chances for a little fiscal policy sanity to address taxes,deficits, and budgets.
In the movie Lincoln, our greatest President is portrayed engaging in some tricky political maneuvering to get the Thirteenth Amendment freeing the Slaves through a difficult House of Representatives. President Obama did read that book (Team of Rivals) and see the movie. Maybe Rep. Terry did too.
And I already e-mailed my Senators and Congressman. They probably won't listen to me. Thank heavens for a National Union and a good President!