Thursday, November 29, 2012

Boehner Bargaining

I'm getting really amused by the Republicans flailing around in the tax rate negotiations. I do not for a second think that, given the situations were reversed, Democrats would knuckle under as they prepared for a Romney administrations. So I'm not blaming the Republicans for being stubborn and poor losers, I just honestly don't think it's a good strategy.

Let's look at the facts directly.

Democrats are in the driver's seat. Obama won the election. Democrats control the Senate. Boehner lost seats in his caucus and probably only retains his speakership by virtue of the massive gerrymandering Republicans did on congressional districts around the country. After all, by two percentage points, Americans voted for a Democratic House. So in any way that is significant, the election produced a definitive and clear result. Also, let's not forget what will happen on January 1st if the President and the Speaker fail to come to an agreement. Taxes will go up on everyone. That would not be a good result but guess who's going to get the blame?

Republicans had a chance to side-step this obvious trap in the first two weeks after the election. Boehner could have agreed to preserving the Bush tax cuts on 98% of the country and worked out something he could have sold to his caucus. Then he could have moved on to issues of more importance and a more obvious routes towards success. He did not do that. So now his leg is caught in the bear trap and he's trying to put blame on the White House for not being as mature as he is. How mature is it to get into a bluffing match with someone who wins by doing nothing?

I dunno, I'm just a writer, but if I identify a situation where I can't possibly win and by fighting I significantly weaken my position down the road, I take my lumps and move on. It's getting to the point where I don't feel anger for Republicans; I feel pity. I pity the whole drunk clown car of incompetents conservative voters keep voting into office. They blew a totally winnable election and now they are rifling through the tool shed for more shovels for the same damn hole.

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