Fiscal Cliff-Leaping: The Hopeful Politics of Capitulation:
Like the confused feelings one has sitting alone after a particularly intense one-night stand ("Will we do it again?" "Am I confusing love with fucking?" "Was he honest about no STDs?" "Did she steal my iPad?"), let us put aside the myriad questions about the fiscal impact of the fiscal cliff aversion deal voted on and just concentrate on one of the pleasures of the entire exercise: President Obama just wrecked Republicans ideologically. You don't believe it? You wanna cling to your "shitty negotiator" idea this time (which the Rude Pundit has agreed with on numerous occasions)?
Yes, had Obama waited until after taxes had risen on everyone, he might have gotten more of what he wanted. But here's the deal: at that point, Republicans would have been voting on a tax cut. You understand the jujitsu here? Sure, Obama campaigned endlessly on raising taxes on income over $250,000 and settled on something more generous to the rich, but the very core of Republican being for the last couple of decades, the belief that created the Tea Party and that they clung to like mad dogs on the last bone in the junkyard, was that no-how, no-way, not-ever, pledge-allegiance-to-Grover were they gonna raise taxes.
And what did Obama, with a heavy assist from Joe Biden, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, just get the majority of Republicans in the Senate and 85 in the House to do? Yeah, motherfuckers, it's like finally convincing the tight-ass fundamentalist kid on your dorm floor to smoke some weed and chill the fuck out. President Obama just corrupted the Republican brand. Assholes who had just been elected opposing tax hikes just violated their explicit campaign promises. Was that worth $200 billion in lost revenue? Was it worth upcoming battles on entitlements and the debt ceiling? Yeah, it was.
The bonus is that the fiscal cliff vote tossed the so-called "Hastert Rule" into the toilet and flushed. Yeah, Dennis Hastert instituted an anti-democratic and anti-Democrat policy when he was causing the Speaker's chair's legs to buckle. He said that no legislation could be voted on unless a majority of the majority supported it, essentially destroying the role of the minority party. The fiscal cliff deal shitcanned that.
Republican intransigence had to be kicked down the stairs of the Capitol because Obama knows that he's dealing with this collection of lunatics and ideologues for the rest of his term. 2014 ain't gonna change the House because gerrymandering has made it almost impossible. So he and Nancy Pelosi had to put together what is essentially a governing coalition of Democrats and the Republicans who actually give a shit about, you know, governing. The cherry's been popped, the thinking might be, so maybe now we can have some real fun.
Now that something big has happened in a truly bipartisan fashion, the Eric Cantor faction of the GOP - the teabaggers and other assorted cockmongers, most of whom wear nerd glasses just waiting for punching - is going to seem petty and churlish. There's gonna be a war in the Republican Party in the next Congress. We see it in the outrage over Boehner blowing out of DC without a vote on a Sandy relief bill. We saw it in the overwhelming vote for the tax hike in the Senate. Some of these fuckers want to get things done. Other fuckers want to keep cock-blocking Obama.
And, even though the price of admission was high, the Rude Pundit's hoping that the show will be worth it.