As recognition grows that the so-called tax bill has become Stimulus II, some of the bill’s supporters are rethinking their earlier positions. Bill Clinton’s usurping of the baffled Obama’s role on point for the deal may have helped clarify the situation for many as 42 bluntly noted that Democrats have to support the Christmas Tree deal because they cannot possibly do as well in January. Powerline’s John Hinderaker, for example, lays out what ought to be the thinking of every elected representative and senator: The bill has evolved from a not-very-good-deal-to-avoid-a-tax-hike plus an extension of unemployment benefits into a giant exercise in wasteful spending, and thus support for it should end. The new Congress –the one embodying the people’s demand for spending restraint and continuation of existing tax rates– can get the job done in the new year.
It may be difficult for some in the GOP leadership to admit that they got worked by the president, but better a little embarrassment now than the massive loss of credibility that goes with this bill. Besides, they didn’t sign up for ethanol and windmills. Speaker-designate Boehner and GOP Senate Leader McConnell will win enormous points for walking away from a bad deal that has gotten worse by the hour.
If the leadership does not shift course, individual GOP representatives will have to make the tough choice to part with leadership and demonstrate a true commitment to fiscal reform. Hopefully such an unnecessary and divisive showdown will be avoided, and the GOP regain the momentum they had achieved on November 2.
TeaPartyPatriots.org has begun to mobilize its grassroots network to oppose the deal, and other Tea Party organizations are surely making the same appeal. MSM is of course three days behind in their rpeorting, but with no House vote occuring any sooner than Wednesday, the story of Stimulus II is just beginning to be written.