Republicans are getting nervous, and I mean really nervous. They have painted themselves into a corner by opposing the payroll tax cut and are now even fracturing.
The nervousness can be seen by what today’s Wall Street Journal editorial board is saying:
The GOP leaders have somehow managed the remarkable feat of being blamed for opposing a one-year extension of a tax holiday that they are surely going to pass. This is no easy double play.
Republicans have also achieved the small miracle of letting Mr. Obama position himself as an election-year tax cutter, although he’s spent most of his Presidency promoting tax increases and he would hit the economy with one of the largest tax increases ever in 2013. This should be impossible.
The GOP has a deep seeded hatred of President Obama. I know this sounds harsh, but their actions alone prove it. The Republicans in Congress have constantly opposed anything that President Obama wants with the simple justification that President Obama wants it.
This here is a perfect example of that. The GOP has long been the party of “lower taxes”, yet right before Christmas they are viewed as the tax raisers. They have sacrificed a pillar of their parties core beliefs simply to oppose anything President Obama wants and now this sacrifice may have cost them a lot of seats in next year’s election.
Just this week alone a lot of polls have come out showing President Obama’s approval rating on the rise. In most of them he is only within a point or two of 50% again and for the first time in months more approve than disapprove of the way he is doing his job.
Even more good news with these polls is that people are increasingly seeing the GOP as the problem. They view the Republicans as the primary cause of gridlock in Washington and trust the Democrats more on issues of the economy and taxes now.
The Democrats are setting themselves up for a major victory next November, as proven by the conclusion of the WSJ’s editorial:
After a year of the tea party House, Mr. Obama and Senate Democrats have had to make no major policy concessions beyond extending the Bush tax rates for two years. Mr. Obama is in a stronger re-election position today than he was a year ago, and the chances of Mr. McConnell becoming Majority Leader in 2013 are declining.
Of course this doesn’t mean the war is over. The Democrats have serious momentum going right now and need to make sure that they keep it going until next fall, which is a lifetime away in the political world. If history is any indicator though, we can’t be too optimistic.
The big talking point right now is that members of Congress and the President need to stay in Washington over Christmas to work on the tax deal. The Democrats have already given major concessions in the bill and need to draw the line in the sand. They also do need to keep working, but instead of working on more concessions, they need to push to get every Democratic lawmaker possible out there on the television to remind the American people that when their take home pay goes down in a couple of weeks they need to thank the House GOP and their putting politics above country. Hammer that message home and the momentum will continue to build.
If the GOP is forced to cave and pass the extensions, a very real possibility, then they are going to be seen as weak by the base, especially those in the Tea Party. That will put a ding in enthusiasm and in turn result in lower turn out numbers for the right.
Keep it up Democrats. You are doing great right now, but still have a lot work to do.