Friday, November 30, 2012

Jump!, cont.

And here I thought even Charles Krauthammer was going wobbly as we approached the fiscal cliff.  I was wrong.

Instead, he sees exactly what Obama and the Democrats are doing:
Ronald Reagan once fell for a “tax now, cut later” deal that he later deeply regretted. Dems got the tax; he never got the cuts. Obama’s audacious new gambit is not a serious proposal to solve our fiscal problems. It’s a raw partisan maneuver meant to neuter the Republicans by getting them to cave on their signature issue as the hold-the-line party on taxes. 
The objective is to ignite exactly the kind of internecine warfare on taxes now going on among Republicans. And to bury Grover Norquist. 
I am not now, nor have I ever been, a Norquistian. I don’t believe the current level of taxation is divinely ordained. Nor do I believe in pledges of any kind. But Norquist is the only guy in town to consistently resist the tax-and-spend Democrats’ stampede for ever higher taxes to fund ever more reckless spending. 
The hunt for Norquist’s scalp is a key part of the larger partisan project to make the Republicans do a George H. W. Bush and renege on their heretofore firm stand on taxes. Bush never recovered.
Bush never recovered and neither will the Republican Party if they sign on to a bad or even ambiguous deal with the Democrats.  If they do, and I don't like saying this at all, conservatives will abandon the party.

But Krauthammer is, I fear, wrong about one thing:
Why are the Republicans playing along? Because it is assumed that Obama has the upper hand. Unless Republicans acquiesce and get the best deal they can right now, tax rates will rise across the board on January 1, and the GOP will be left without any bargaining chips. 
But what about Obama? If we all cliff-dive, he gets to preside over yet another recession. It will wreck his second term. Sure, Republicans will get blamed. But Obama is never running again. He cares about his legacy. You think he wants a second term with a double-dip recession, 9 percent unemployment, and a totally gridlocked Congress? (my italics)
I agree, Obama does care about his legacy, just not in the way you might expect him to.

Remember, Obama wants not to recover or restore the country, he wants instead to "fundamentally transform the United States of America."

To that end, he reasons, a new crisis, just like the last one, shouldn't go to waste and he, for one, won't let it.  A double-dip recession, 9-plus percent unemployment, and a totally gridlocked Congress are all near perfect ingredients in a recipe to nourish the still growing Leviathan.


  1. Yes, and a very important step here is to destroy the Republican Party--a goal that eluded even FDR. He cannot trust it to self-destruct, and more important he needs to take credit for it.

  2. He may well accomplish his goal.

    Scary times.