Stop Pretending We Can't Disagree on This

Not a day goes by that I am not forced to confront the idea that I could be wrong about a lot, including the notion of going over the fiscal cliff.The problem is that a lot of Republicans, including most of the conservative press out there jockeying for access in the Speaker’s Lobby, have so thoroughly drunk the kool-aid (yes, I know it’s flavor-aide and you need to know no one cares) they are not willing to consider for a second that they might be wrong.I understand that many of you think Plan B is the best the GOP could do. I understand you think we’ll get a worse deal now. I understand you think we needed to support the Speaker and not show weakness. I understand you think we needed to make sure people stop thinking we’re only about tax cuts for the rich.Now, keep thinking I am wrong if you must, but stop pretending you don’t even understand my argument. It is pretty simple.No matter what the GOP is going to get the blame. The Democrats are going to construct a deal the GOP cannot accept because the Democrats know the GOP is going to get the blame. The only way for the GOP to not get the blame is to do exactly as the Democrats want, which the GOP will not do. Consequently, any proposal the GOP comes up with will be rejected after some theatrical consideration to look good for a press that wants to make the GOP the fall guy.The GOP will get blamed. The Democrats want one of two things — either the Obama tax plan or the fiscal cliff. And I’m pretty sure Obama wants the fiscal cliff so he can portray himself as the great tax cutter next year and try to take away the tax cut ground from the GOP. All this talk about “OMG THE GOP WILL NOW HAVE TO TAKE A WORSE DEAL” was always nonsense in the sense that the GOP was always going to take a worse deal. Plan B would go nowhere and was the foundation of nothing.All those leftists in twitter right now cheering on the suicide of the GOP for rejecting Plan B, if the GOP takes any other plan or even took Plan B, would be doing the exact same thing then. Many of you are now saying to yourselves that this is precisely why the GOP needed to do Plan B so that the American people would know it was not their fault and they tried to compromise.Seriously? I bet you are the same people who were telling yourselves all year the polls were rigged too. The American people are going to blame the GOP, presuming they are even paying attention to the fiscal cliff talks in the nonstop effort to take away guns.The GOP will get blamed no matter what, so it was very important for the GOP to make sure it not cave on tax increases. And it was a tax increase. You guys may have bought the spin that it somehow is not a tax increase, but no one in the media has reported it that way. When your argument is premised on baselines and accounting gimmicks, you lose. The media has reported that the GOP was finally willing to break its pledge. Hell, even Grover Norquist was willing to break his pledge in the eyes of the media. But now they are not.It was important to hold this line because if this line fell, every other line could fall as an effect of inertia — principles that fall will continue to fall unless. The line on taxes buckling would be the precursor to the line on the second amendment buckling. The fact is the GOP is going to get blamed so it might as well stick to its principles. This has nothing to do with making the perfect the enemy of the good. It has everything to do with understanding the GOP lost this fight when it decided to structure the fiscal cliff a long time ago.Until the GOP can figure out a way to shift the conversation to reform instead of cuts and shift the conversation to the payroll tax and not the income tax, they are on ground they cannot win. So there’s never been any reason to sell out their principles.You can disagree with me on all of this. That’s fine. We can disagree. But just stop pretending you don’t even understand how anyone on the right could disagree with you.As an aside, turns out the Mayan calendar wasn’t wrong. It was just their John Boehner horoscope.



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