It’s not often that I disagree with Rush Limbaugh AND Sarah Palin but it is my opinion that the Obama Tax deal is an excellent deal for the GOP and the right, particularly on the political side.
1. The two-year tax cut deal as I’ve already said gives us the ability to constantly bring up a vote to make the tax cuts permanent and put Senate Democrats and the president on the spot again and again and again. (If it passes we get credit, if it fails it becomes a political issue for 2012)
2. Democrats, by extending unemployment save the republicans the tough issue of refusing to extend them. As for paying for it, there is nothing to stop congressional republicans from allocating tarp funds etc to pay for said benefits AFTER Jan 3rd. Also by not including or demanding additional benefits for the 99 week guys it takes it off the table (even liberal democrats didn’t want this extra spending).
3. The individual pork pieces in the bill can be attacked by individual bills during the next session, forcing the left to defending them. Each time the left defends said pork, it becomes an issue for 2012.
4. Thanks to Bernie Sanders filibuster an actual unapologetic socialist is now the iconic image of the left…
4a. …And of course it shows the intransigence of the whole bunch of them in attempting to block this, making the lie over the “compromise” issue. This firmly establishes the idea of democrats unwilling to compromise, (particularly to those who have voted for them in the past whose unemployment benefits are on the line) that we can play up over and over again in the next session. It will be an excellent counter to the media goes that will try to make GOP intransigence an issue. We will answer: “Oh it’s the democrats being just as uncompromising as there were with the president in December.” It shatters the media’s template built carefully over decades.
5. And finally I’d rather have the actual tax rate in place than to simply have a football to kick democrats with. Why give the economy a hit when we don’t have to.
Ted Kennedy was always smart enough to take a piece of what he wanted and then amend it over time. We may have disagreed with Sen Kennedy over issues but tactically we should be just as smart.