The idea that Republicans would outmaneuver the President in "fiscal cliff" negotiations (held behind closed doors) was fanciful from the outset.
The president uses the White House as backdrop or hops Air Force One to making his phony pitch for "a balanced approach" to fiscal reform. Every choreographed move he makes is then lapped up by a press corps ever eager to please and assist him in making his case for tax hikes on the "rich" for him.
Last week the president felt emboldened enough by the election results and the GOP's willingness to break old promises that he sent his elf Tim Geithner to the Hill to press for more tax revenues. Speaker of the House John Boehner responded saying he was "flabbergasted." When you give in to tax & spend terrorists, they will only up their demands, which is exactly what happened here.
Grover Norquist, the most hated man in America, is exactly right in saying that the public needs to see the truth in this grand bargaining. "Republicans should demand that whatever agreement the two parties reach should be posted online for at least a week before Congress votes on it," he told the Washington Times.
The country will only be put on a long-term path to fiscal solvency if real spending cuts and entitlement reform at the outset of 2013. Tax simplification and the elimination of loopholes will bring in revenue without raising rates on the very people we need to create jobs. Republicans will only have leverage in these discussions if they hold out and are willing to take the short-term PR hit of "allowing" us to go over the "cliff."
GOP leverage is lost the second the GOP gives in to Obama's economic hostage threat of dangling America over the cliff. Sometimes you find your wings only after you jump.
By the way, now does everybody see why some of us were urging Mitt Romney to make the "fiscal cliff" a cornerstone of his campaign?
I still dream of Romney looking at Obama during the second debate and asking, "Sir, our country will see a needless mad dash to avert a crisis after the election because you failed to do your job before the election. I will never put my own political interests ahead of what's best for American families. Election or no election, I would have already worked with Democrats and Republicans to fashion a commonsense way save us from being run over by the Debt and Deficit Express that's coming down the tracks."