Monday, December 13, 2010

You Want Uncertainty? Here's Your Uncertainty

Michael Shear has a good rundown of conservative unhappiness with the tax deal, none of which is apparently going to affect the Senate vote (as I write, the bill is sailing through a preliminary procedural vote). 

The model for danger ahead, however, is with the House Republican conference.  I can't help but think of two other times when a consensus deal came undone when House Republicans deserted at the very last moment: the George HW Bush/Jim Wright deficit cutting deal, and the first TARP vote.  In both cases, when push came to shove, Republican Members of the House revealed that the one risk they weren't willing to take was breaking with movement conservatives. 

I have no prediction.  It's certainly possible that conservatives are backing away from the deal in part as a bargaining step -- with House Democrats asking for a better deal, it makes sense for conservatives to emphasize that they're not desperate for any deal that will get them what they want on high-end taxes and (high-end) estate taxes.  I'm just saying that I'm going to be watching the House vote very closely.  I don't think there are a lot of examples of House Republicans defying Rush Limbaugh on a high-profile vote over the last twenty years, and if Rush is joined by enough others (yes, it's worth watching Sarah Palin), it's going to be a hard vote for House Republicans.  My guess is that the one thing we won't see in the House is the vote just missing...if it can't get a majority, both Democrats and Republicans will switch away from the deal, and it'll lose by 100 votes or more. 


  1. If House Republicans balk, mightn't that flip a switch for House Democrats?

  2. (Slightly off the post's point) Am I the only one to have seen this misleading statement all over the net:

    "Thursday, the Democrats in the House of Representatives showed their disapproval as well by voting against the bill." Often without clearly saying it wasn't a vote on the bill in the House proper...?

  3. My assumption has been that at the end of the day the Democrats want this to pass, and as long as a majority of House Republicans are for it that the Dems will produce enough votes to put it over the top. If Republicans turn against it, it has no chance of passing, and in that case Dems will vote against it to keep liberals happy.

    (And I don't think liberals will suddenly think it's a good deal if Republicans turn against it, no).

    Also, sooner or later there probably will be a deal, whether it's this one or a renegotiated version, and so liberals would be unwise to vote for a losing version of this (because it hurts their leverage in a next round of negotiations.

  4. The whole "Tax Deal" is a smoke screen...
    Of course they will do what they always do: Protect the money invested in them from their big Donors: All the Walks of Corporate America!
    Democrats and Republicans combined!
    The Debate is just their lame talking points...

  5. >In both cases, when push came to shove, Republican Members of the House revealed that the one risk they weren't willing to take was breaking with movement conservatives.

    And in both cases, they weren't faced with a ticking time bomb harnessed to the one group in the country they care about.

  6. I can't wait for the spectacle of, say, Pete DeFazio and John Shadegg, standing shoulder fighting to expropriate the expropriators and save the working class.

    Le Front Populaire vive!


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