My head is spinning. Not because I had too much Eggnog last night. It’s this whole tax extension debate. I don’t know about you but if you’re a conservative what exactly is going through your mind during this whole situation?
There is NOT one clear GOP point of view on this. As a matter of fact, this debate has become somewhat schizophrenic.
Let’s go through this for a moment. I’m trying to get this straight. So Palin doesn’t like the deal. Neither does Romney. Huckabee and Thune are okay with it but Pence is going to vote against it. Gingrich is okay with it overall but the Tea Party Patriots hate it yet Dick Armey’s tea party organization Freedom Works is on board. And Grover Norquist is backing the deal but Rush Limbaugh hates it. Go figure.
There are arguments to make on both sides of this debate but clearly the better political play as it relates to the 2012 GOP presidential race is to oppose the deal. By coming out against it, you set yourself up as someone who will not back away from your principles no matter what.
That will resonate among the Tea Party crowd. Look what the Tea Party Patriots group put up on their website this week. It’s titled,“No Tax Compromise”.See below:
On September 23, all of the House GOP leadership agreed to the "Pledge to America." A photo op was arranged at the Tart Lumber store in Sterling, Virginia, and the senior leaders of the would-be majority, with their shirt sleeves rolled up, took the pledge and asked America for the majority back. There are at least five provisions of the Pledge that are violated by "The Deal." In September the House GOP promised to:
• "Permanently Stop All Job-Killing Tax Hikes" (p. 16)
• "Act immediately to Reduce Spending" (p. 21)
• "Cut Government Spending to Pre-Stimulus, Pre-Bailout Levels" (p. 21)
• "Read the Bill" (p. 33)
• "Advance Legislative Issues One at a Time" (p. 33)
The assault of "The Deal" on "The Pledge" will make the latter a joke, and instantly impacts the credibility of all future efforts to propose agendas to the electorate.
The idea that this massive tax and spend bill has not yet even been written but may be voted on by the Senate this weekend is appalling, and has rightfully drawn the anger of the TeaPartyPatriots.org and other Tea Party activists, an anger that will not diminish.
of course you can make the argument that the "Pledge" takes effect when the GOP is actually in control of the House. Of course, does that mean that those principles in the "Pledge" have an asterik next to them? (my core principles only apply after January 3, 2011)
Assuming all of the rumored GOP presidential candidates actually get into the race, it’s going to be interesting to see Huckabee, Pawlenty, Gingrich and Thune arguing one side of the argument and Palin, Romney and Pence taking a different view.