Obama is baiting the trap and if the GOP candidate doesn’t take it in 2012, it could spell trouble for the Dems.
I have no doubt that everyone will find something in this compromise that they don’t like. In fact, there are things in here that I don’t like — namely the extension of the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and the wealthiest estates. But these tax cuts will expire in two years. And I’m confident that as we make tough choices about bringing our deficit down, as I engage in a conversation with the American people about the hard choices we’re going to have to make to secure our future and our children’s future and our grandchildren’s future, it will become apparent that we cannot afford to extend those tax cuts any longer.
We already know that tax cuts for the wealthy are wildly unpopular and polling shows this again and again. And the sentiment among Tea Partiers is that the deficit needs to come down, and quick. Since Romney (I’m assuming he’ll be the GOP’s choice) can’t attack Obama on healthcare since he enacted virtually the same system in Massachusetts while Governor, the “big spender” message is what he’ll shellac Obama with…and it’ll stick.
But here’s the thing…voters aren’t going to let the GOP have their cake and eat it too. They’re already seeing how they’re saying one thing and then doing another with this tax cut compromise. So, if Romney makes a campaign pledge to let those tax cuts expire due to the rising deficit, he could win. If not, I don’t see much hope for the GOP.
Three caveats to this.
#1 – If Sarah Palin somehow manages to win the nomination, I don’t think there’s anything she can do to actually win the White House. So this argument will be moot. Well, there is one really outside chance and it’s talked about in #2. So let’s get to that…
#2 – If Huckabee gets nominated, and I see him as Romney’s biggest challenge, he’s probably going to run on the FairTax plan, which makes the above moot as well. So if Palin adopts this idea, that could be good for her campaign.
#3 – As always, a terrorist attack changes everything.