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Posted at 8:30 AM ET, 12/ 2/2010

Republicans amazed by Democrats' gamesmanship

By Jennifer Rubin

While the Democratic House leadership is seemingly delighted to get around to its vote to preserve only part of the Bush tax cuts, House Republicans are stunned that House Democrats haven't gleaned the message from the voters: Stop spending and don't raise taxes, on anyone.

As one Republican policy aide described the Democrats' legislative posturing: "They just don't get it." I get eye rolls or a laughs when I ask what the purpose of a vote on the partial extension of the Bush taxes might be. After all, it's not clear that the Democratic leadership has a majority to pass a partial extension, and while the Democrats are staging a vote, the White House is actually trying to make a deal on terms that will bear little if any resemblance to the House measure. The conclusion must either be that the Democrats aren't serious about the vote or they aren't serious about negotiating a deal. A senior leadership aide says bluntly, "It shows incredibly bad faith. I presume they need this vote first to get their members to vote for whatever deal emerges. But who knows."

Fox News reports that Republicans aren't missing the chance to call out Democratic gamesmanship:

"Now is the time for serious negotiations, not political stunts," said Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., the ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee and a negotiator in the "Gang of Four" congressional members meeting with the White House.

"This is disappointing and a sign of bad faith after the president agreed to bipartisan, bi-cameral talks. There will be bipartisan opposition to the Democrats' push to raise taxes on small business," Camp said.

But Republicans shouldn't be all that surprised. This is the last gasp of the Pelosi majority, which convinced itself that ObamaCare would be a political winner and that the stimulus plan would "create" jobs. In other words, outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is perfectly in tune with the left wing of her party. The rest of the country? Not so much.

By Jennifer Rubin  | December 2, 2010; 8:30 AM ET
Categories:  House GOP  
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Comments

Blowout? Landslide? Mandate? Shellacking?? If you look at the popular vote for Democrats and Republicans for all House races across the country: the Democrats got about 36 million or 47% of the votes compared to 53% for Republicans - this despite high unemployment (and many races where Republicans ran unopposed, especially in highly-gerrimandered Texas). 49% of women voters went for the Democrats. If 4 in 100 voters had gone the other way, the Democrats would have won this popular vote. If all age groups had participated equally in the election, the Democratic candidates would have had more votes than the Republican candidates (51-49%). This was hardly the "landslide" reported by the media, the "mandate" that Republicans are claiming, or the "shellacking" that the overly-contrite President called it. For election data, see http://fairsharetaxes.org - click on 2010 Election

I voted for the President and the Democrats to fight for us, the bottom 95%. The top 5% have an army of lobbyists and the entire Republican party fighting for them. Why can't the Democrats push through the tax cuts only for the bottom 98% (or 95%) in their lame-duck session? The last time I checked they still hold large majorities in both Houses. They have the votes in the lame-duck House and can maneuver in the Senate to circumvent the filibuster - that's the way the Republicans passed the original Bush tax cuts. It just takes a little guts. Then if the Republicans want to pass additional tax cuts for the top 2%, let them bring this to floor and explain it to the people in 2011. See a really fair tax proposal at: http://fairsharetaxes.org

Posted by: PeteG2 | December 2, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

What an interesting definition of gamesmanship, Jennifer. I would have thought holding an important nuclear arms treaty hostage to a tax cut would be more up that alley. I guess the dictionary took a right turn too.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 2, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

I'm curious how 'tax cuts' work for the 'bottom 95%,' many of whom have no federal tax liability at all? You mean income redistribution, correct? If so, then call it what it is, please.

Let's just keep in mind that the top 10% of earners in this country already pay about 70% of the federal income tax obligations. A good number of 'the rich' that some enjoy bashing are actually small businesses that report income on their personal 1040s. I don't think we need to be doing anything to make their lives more difficult in this economy.

Posted by: jmpickett | December 2, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

First, Jennifer, anyone who quotes Fox News on anything without having a second source does not merit writing a column for the Washington Post. Second, your assertion that all Americans want the Bush tax cuts extended for everyone is an OUTRIGHT LIE. A majority of Americans do not want the tax cuts extended for those making over 250 thousand dollars a year.

So, Jennifer, YOU LIED. Third column and YOU LIED.

Now back to the questions I asked on the first day. Get off your rear and answer some of them.

Hello again. Here I am again with three issues I would like for you to discuss on this blog because I wanted to understand or, at least know, the conservative point of view. I will continue to ask these questions every day until I see a column from you on them.

Number One - Why is America exceptional? The country ranks 12th in college graduates so it is not education The country has (until the recent health care bill, which most conservatives oppose) over 40 million uninsured as well as an infant mortality rate higher than Cuba's so it is certainly not health care. I can come up with more examples but this is a start. Again, why do YOU think America is exceptional?

Was the invasion of Iraq worth the cost - one to three trillion dollars, 4000 American lives, over 100,000 Iraqi lives? What did this country and the rest of the world get out of that invasion that was worth that cost?

Conservatives oppose gay rights and a woman's right to chose, among some other constitutionally questionable issues Liberals do not. Why do conservatives consider themselves more freedom-loving than Liberals when they oppose equal rights for groups that Liberals do not?

I await your answers in one or more columns.

Posted by: nyrunner101 | December 2, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Jennifer

You are correct in your assessments

The democrats are completely confused - their first act is to ignore the voters.


This clearly states HOW AND WHY the democrats lost the election - they have been ignoring the voters for two years. The democrats were content with the DECEPTIONS OF OBAMA in 2008, and the democrats were happy to pull the "BAIT AND SWITCH" AGAINST AMERICA.


And that is exactly the point: the democrats are not representing America, the democrats are AGAINST AMERICA.


So, it makes sense that the democrats are doing what they are doing - even as Obama is in bipartisan negotiations for a compromise.

Yes, it is unbelievable. However, it is exactly in line with what the democrats have been all about for two years.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 2, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

LOL The the GOOBers are amazed at Dems' "gamesmanship"?

Pot, meet kettle.

Ms. Rubin, you're new here so here's a tip: If nutbag trolls like RainForestRising (the latest of literally dozens of screen names) likes your column, your column is by definition utter garbage.

Glad to be of service.

Posted by: Observer691 | December 2, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

START is so important that Nelson says it can wait. The extreme left Democrats running Congress are the ones playing games here (and I speak as a libertarian who doesn't like the GOP a lot either much of the time)


Sen. Ben Nelson (D., Neb.) says today that passing the New START treaty should not be a lame-duck priority for Democrats and that he’d be comfortable with waiting until January to address it.

“Most of the (legislation) being dealt with right now should be held over until 2011, because we should be focused on jobs, taxes, and debt reduction,” Nelson says. “I think we can hold off on START; I don’t want it to crowd out taxes, debt reduction, and jobs.”

Posted by: jmpickett | December 2, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

regarding America being exceptional, it is. It is the only country ever conceived on the concept of individual liberty. It is why we have become the most economically successful country in world history. People here have more freedom than anywhere else.

I think it's sad that so many Americans don't understand this, and that they admire a president who doesn't get it either.

Posted by: jmpickett | December 2, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

@Observer691 | December 2, 2010 9:40 AM:
"..., your column is by definition utter garbage."
_______________

And, yet, here you are, the pot calling the kettle "garbage".

Perhaps the garbage at DailyKrap is more to your taste?

Posted by: HenriLeGrand | December 2, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

HenriLePew: "Perhaps the garbage at DailyKrap is more to your taste?"

I don't know what that is, Cletus. Unlike you and most of the teatardlicans here, I have a life, so I can't spend all day reading hundreds of blogs.

Posted by: Observer691 | December 2, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I'm just as amazed at the sun rising every day as I am at politicians engaging in gamesmanship.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 2, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

@ nyrunner101 - Heh. You must admit that invading Iraq was EXCEPTIONALLY stupid. Try this one. We spend an exceptionally large fraction of our GDP on medical, yet have a shorter lifespan than most comparable countries.

I've a feeling that's not what Jennifer meant, though.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 2, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

@Observer691 | December 2, 2010 10:28 AM:
"Unlike you and most of the teatardlicans here, I have a life, so I can't spend all day reading hundreds of blogs."

So your so-called "life" comprises reading only the blogs you consider to be "garbage"?

Posted by: HenriLeGrand | December 2, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans are doing exactly what the American people want.

Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and the rest of the Democrats believe in big government and intrusive regulation. They believe in taking from the people who work hard and get educated to achieve and give it to the people who do not try to better themselves.

We need to end all of the wasteful and inefficient government programs to make it easier for people to live off the system that to be productive members of the economy.

I am tired of paying taxes to pay for the person in the checkout line in front of me using food stamps to buy food only to follow that up with using a large amount of cash to by cigarettes. I am tired of paying taxes so government workers can get salaries and benefits far beyond with I get in the private sector. I am tired of paying taxes to support people who have little incentive to work and achieve. Our government is dysfunctional, inefficient, and to big. It is our huge, dysfunctional, and wasteful government that is holding back our economy and job growth.

We must continue to VOTE THEM OUT!!!

Posted by: AngryMobVoter | December 2, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Let's just keep in mind that the top 10% of earners in this country already pay about 70% of the federal income tax obligations. A good number of 'the rich' that some enjoy bashing are actually small businesses that report income on their personal 1040s. I don't think we need to be doing anything to make their lives more difficult in this economy.

Posted by: jmpickett | December 2, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

They control 90% of the money.

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | December 2, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

if we were to use that argument, then why didn't the Republicans adopt the Democratic views of the voters that were expressed in 2006 and 2008? Why does it only count when the Republicans win but be ignored when the Democrats win?

Posted by: hohandy1 | December 2, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Gamemanship, instead of seriousness, is exactly what landed Democrat members of Congress in such not water with the American electorate in the first place. For them to continue this practice only plays into the hands of their opponents.

What surprises me is that they apparently believe that doing so is a smart strategy.

Perhaps the ongoing declining poll numbers for Democrats (and the accompanying additional losses at the ballot box in Nove 2012 will totally council otherwise.

Posted by: mobileruss | December 2, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

"Republicans amazed by Democrats' gamesmanship"
________________________________________

This is a pretty stunning comment coming from the party that has given us over 100 filabusters in the current Congress and in previous Congress's gave us the "nuclear option." Sniff, sniff, sniff ... is that the faint hint of hypocrisy I smell?

Posted by: jamalmstrom | December 2, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

As a NYer living in Alabama, ( I consider myself an exile, waiting for NY to return to sanity) I have seen more blue turn to red in the last year than ever before. Democrats are becoming dinosaurs.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | December 2, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

The last dying embers of the most liberal Congress since the Johnson era ... don't worry just relax and enjoy it ...

Posted by: cunn9305 | December 2, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Let's just keep in mind that the top 10% of earners in this country already pay about 70% of the federal income tax obligations. A good number of 'the rich' that some enjoy bashing are actually small businesses that report income on their personal 1040s. I don't think we need to be doing anything to make their lives more difficult in this economy.
Posted by: jmpickett | December 2, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse
They control 90% of the money.
Posted by: jhnnywalkr

My Comment...
The top ten so called "earners" control 90% of the money and by the time they actually pay the taxes; it is more like they pay next to nothing. They have more tax loop holes than a knitted sweater thanks to their contribution paybacks.
When it comes to small business, the owners mostly make about the same as factory workers after paying their bills.
Small business owners wrongly side with big business when there is no comparison.

Posted by: OckamsRazor | December 2, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

The last dying embers of the most liberal Congress since the Johnson era ... don't worry just relax and enjoy it ...
Posted by: cunn9305

My Reply...
Don't hold your breath; the Liberals will be back like gang busters when the "conservatives" start another war, destroy the economy and get a whole lot more people killed.

Posted by: OckamsRazor | December 2, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

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