Wow, this fight over the payroll tax cut extension has gotten nasty -- and based on the latest maneouvring, I think that the GOP has downright screwed itself. We'll see, but I think there are two key principles to remember about this:
1. There's no doubt about who's at fault for this mess, the Republicans, specifically the Tea Party.
2. When in doubt, blame the Republicans. You'll never be wrong.
OK, so awaaaay we go:
Payroll tax cut extension in doubt amidst Republican uproar
"House Republicans have a point. Making tax policy two months at a time is no way to make tax policy. But House Republicans are the reason the Senate was opting for a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut. If they agreed to a clean, year-long extension of the payroll tax cut, the bill could pass in the next 10 minutes.
Instead, they've opted to tie it to the Keystone XL Pipeline. And as bad as it is to make tax policy in two-month increments, it's even worse to make controversial energy and environmental decisions using unrelated tax-policy measures -- and their deadlines -- as cover."
Next - the answer is YES.
Question: "The opposition from Tea Partyers raises the question: Is denying Obama a victory — one that would help the economy, which could make Obama’s reelection prospects a shade brighter — a higher priority for them than even cutting taxes?"
"This latest impasse reveals just how extreme, intransigent, self-indulgent and hostile to basic norms of governing the Tea Party wing has become. It’s as if compromise itself must be opposed, for its own sake, regardless of what any particular compromise contains. This is another case in which the public is seeing with total clarity the disastrous results of giving the Tea Party a seat at the governing table." (click excerpt for full article)
Give 'em hell, Harry:
Harry Reid: Payroll Tax Cut Bill Must Pass Without Further Negotiations
"My House colleagues should be clear on what their vote means today. If Republicans vote down the bipartisan compromise negotiated by Republican and Democratic leaders, and passed by 89 senators including 39 Republicans,their intransigence will mean that in ten days, 160 million middle class
Americans will see a tax increase, over two million Americans will begin losing their unemployment benefits, and millions of senior citizens on Medicare could find it harder to receive treatment from physicians," Reid said."
According to latest reports, the House is going to reject the Senate bill (passed with 89 votes, which means that a lot of sensible Republican senators -- a phrase that it is extremely hard for me to write -- voted for it. So the insane GOP in the House, led by Boner Boehner, are screwing the middle class.
Again. See the two principles again.