Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Today is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life - or something.

That is a pretty optimistic statement.  It kind of assumes your life won't end today.  Not precisely, but it sounds like it makes that assumption.

Another way to put it is that today is the first day of the new year, 2013.  Bright, fresh, but unfortunately, not quite unsullied.  Thank the Republicans for that, for as of this hour, Eric Cantor has splashed some cold water on our hope and optimism for a solution to the badly named fiscal cliff.  Now, to be fair, that could change.  I'm not at all optimistic about it, as I have this dark, almost gothic view of the Republicans, as if they're like the bad guys in the Harry Potter books who wore black robes and had icky familiars.

Personally, I think Obama needs to just dig in and let this thing die.  I know that is a cruel and impersonal stance to take, but it is, unfortunately, the only way for him to demonstrate to the Republicans that yes, they really, truly lost the election and they are NOT supported by a majority of Americans, even their own party.

Nothing else will clearly show that it is time for them to shut up and legislate, as a minority party, or they will permanently and badly damage the brand of their party.

But let's get real about this fiscal cliff.  It isn't a cliff.  It is more like a moderate decline to a lower level, rather than a sharp drop-off.  If you want to see a real cliff, let this agreement go through, and in two months, when the Continuing Resolution, the Debt Ceiling and the Sequestration all three kick in within about three weeks of one another, the difference will be a stark and clear one.

This is McConnell's idea of buying time, as putting this off until the debt ceiling is close is his idea of getting some leverage.  Unfortunately, McConnell isn't in charge of the House Republican Caucus, Boehner is, and Boehner has lost control of it, if he ever really had control...

This is another example of the Republicans being at war with themselves.  McConnell clearly has the goal of giving his party some leverage with Obama in two months, but the House Tea Partiers still don't understand basic political maneuvering in Washington DC.  In the end, the Tea Party will prevail over Boehner and McConnell (probably with the quiet urging of Eric Cantor, who wants Boehner's job later this week), the country will hit the fiscal decline, the media and the Market will panic and Obama will propose a bill upon the opening of the new Congress later this week which will lower taxes back to Bush Tax Cut levels for the 98%.  Which the Tea Partiers will cause to fail, thus violating their own Norquist Tax Pledge.

Just watch.  Hit the kitchen, stick some popcorn into the microwave, open a brew or two, this is going to be entertaining!  Unless, of course, you are one of those unfortunates who stand to lose their unemployment checks over this.

In which case, you probably can't afford the popcorn.

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