NRO has little daily polls. Today’s asked if House Republicans are blowing in on the fiscal cliff. The voting divide as of now is pretty close:
I voted yes, but not because I was thinking about the substantive issues (taxes increases, spending cuts, etc.). Instead, my “yes” vote resulted because I think the House Republicans blew it on a much more fundamental level: Budget talks should have been done in public.
Having John Boehner sneak into smoke-filled rooms with Obama (both, after all, do smoke), had two terrible consequences. First, it made Republicans look weak because, every time Obama made a ridiculous offer, Boehner came back with a counter offer. Second, and this is the important one, Boehner utterly deprived Republicans of the chance to make their fiscal arguments out loud, directly to the American public. Worse, by giving Obama the shelter of closed doors, Boehner protected him and his fellow Demos from having to defend a demand for more money without any significant spending cuts.
As it is, Republicans are now stuck with headlines that make it look as if they’re unwilling to tax bazillionaires, even though the principle driving their refusal to vote for Plan B revolves around Obama’s unwillingness to cut spending.
When will Republicans ever learn that Democrats don’t play fair, whether in back-room negotiations or on the front pages of the American media? Honestly, if Democrats are bad because they’re dishonest and manipulative, Republicans are proving that they’re worse, because they’re too dumb to live.