You know, I'd love to concentrate on the many court cases and political hyperbolies that continue to surround the Health Care Bill, but this Obama tax deal, as a piece of legislation, has incurred by far the most fascinating reactions from partisans on either side.
Krauthammer, flustered with this deal as well, calls it Stimulus II, and seemed to rail against it, and chiding GOP support for it because it gave away the store to Obama. Though Rush Limbaugh believes it gives away the store, it isn't as big a stimulus as Krauthammer makes it out to be. (Damn it is difficult to keep up...) Because no one can agree with President Obama on legislation, and still be sufficiently right-wing to qualify for the "conservative" label in America these days.
Of course, I think Krauthammer and Rush are right to be ticked-off: the President got more out of this tax deal than he had any right to expect. The GOTP, after two years of lunatic political marketing, got into office and started behaving as if reality should be a factor in decision-making. That's got to throw some true-believers (like Krauty and El Rushbo) for whom reality is optional, for the ideological loop.
The craziest thing about the whole tax deal? The folks who Rush and Kraut consider Democratic Socialists (or worse) hate the tax deal worse than they do. Independent Senator Bernie Sanders engaged in a pseudo-filibuster, and voted against the bill in the Senate this evening. He was joined by 5 members of the GOP caucus, and 9 Democrats.
I can understand a Democrat not liking extending Bush's failed economic policies. That's got to sting a little, when you have two years to get something done, and fail to do so because your leadership doesn't own a calendar. But when you get your fanny paddled as hard as they did in November, you have to accept a change in the political climate. I think a lot of Democrats are being ridiculous for going against it as hard as they are. It is literally killing their credibility with independents in the center to act this way. Which is actually pretty fascinating, from an objective point of view, because this is an almost perfect example of how the GOTP kicks Democratic ass on narrative and national conversation, without having to do much heavy lifting.
Despite all the vitriol from the extreme right-wing, you'll only hear about how much Democrats hate this bill. It doesn't matter how much I agree with Brook's column there, look at where his focus is.
Cluster liberals in the House and the commentariat are angry. They have no strategy for how Obama could have better played his weak hand — with a coming Republican majority, an expiring tax law and several Democratic senators from red states insisting on extending all the cuts. They just sense the waning of their moment and are howling in protest.
That's how "conservative" marketing works, folks. If all the GOTP think something's bad, the Democrats are intractable liberals who are to blame. If there is a split like this between the GOP and the TP on a policy, then it is the intractable liberals within the Democratic Party who are to blame. Please pay no attention to the reality bending insanity on the right - pay attention instead to our current pragmatic, centrist Democratic President aggreeing publicly with our former pragmatic, centrist Democratic President, and how the "bad" Democrats are acting.
Not one word about how the right-wing and their commentariat are angry, or why. To be sure, there are a few exceptions, but even that downplays the split on the right as "pockets of resistance."
Pockets of resistance to a tax deal with overwhelming bipartisan support.
By doing this, the right pleases its base with some red meat (though just outside the view of Joe Public) and passes its policy legislation, kneecaps what should be a huge victory by the Democratic President (whom they despise) and further promote the "liberal is a dirty word they want to raise your taxes" narrative all at the same time.