How The GOP Wins (Or Loses) The White House In 2012

How The GOP Wins (Or Loses) The White House In 2012


Obama is baiting the trap and if the GOP candidate doesn’t take it in 2012, it could spell trouble for the Dems.

Last night the President said this…

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.

Your thoughts?

  • Rob

    #4 – Continue to tell gullible Republicans that taxcuts don’t cost anything- contrary to the evidence, they bring in more money! Look over there, gay Mexicans!

  • Chris

    Obama is setting is baiting

    translation? 😛

  • kranky kritter

    IMO, you’re overthinking this. There is no trap. We don’t know who the 2012 GOP nom will be, and we don’t know what kind of economic shape we’ll be in.

    I think Obama is accepting the top rate extension, despite previous promises, for at least 2 reasons. One, in the current economic climate (GDP and jobs-wise), the argument for raising rates on top earners is weakened. Arguably it could harm growth. And 2, Obama believes that Americans are not interested in seeing brinksmanship right now. Unlike most others, it doesn’t bother me that Obama promised to sunset these rates 2 or 3 years ago.

    All the people who are getting an unemployment extension painlessly this time are grateful for this deal. Folks getting rebates on SS taxes next year are grateful as well.

    Of course, that enough folks are going along to get this passed shows that neither side is committed to beginning to solve our deficit problems immediately if it’s at the expense of strangling an anemic recovery. I can live with that for the time being even though I believe the meter is running dangerously high.

    Romney is of course a plausible prediction for the GOP nominee. Though I believe he has an unfixable credibility gap with the base. As the McCain nomination demonstrated, the identity of the final choice is sensitively dependent on the early primary process and the names on the ballot. McCain got the nomination in large part because several voting blocs split between multiple candidates. In my lifetime, he’s the nominee with the weakest party enthusiasm I’ve ever seen.He had literally no big enthusiastic core.

    Any democratic President can be painted as a big spender for reasons of correlation with his party’s congressional behavior over the past 4 decades at the very least. I think this is quite obvious to anyone who has attended to the actual details. Of course, that doesn’t mean the GOP has any particular credibility when it comes to frugality. All they really have is a history of complaining about the size of government. It’s everyone’s own mileage how much weight to give to that.

    Of the possible GOP candidates, I would list the following as the ones best able to both win the nomination and beat Obama in 2012: Chris Christie; Tim Pawlenty; Newt Gingrich. Romney would give Obama a strong run should he win the nom, but winning the nom will be a huge problem for him. I think Huckabee could win the nom if he’s the only very strong social conservative running. But I don’t think he would be a strong candidate in the general election unless times have gotten worse and he can run convincingly on blue collar populism. And I don’t believe Palin will run.

  • GOPduh!

    Obama setting a baiting trap? Please! At this point, the most we can hope for is that the man doesn’t lose every state in the Union. I mean, he could not even win an argument against the Republicans, on something on which most Americans support him!

    As some Democrats have been saying, the Republicans were holding the Middle Class hostage until they got tax cuts for the rich. Obama caved, faster than a Frenchman in the 1930’s at the German border. This tells our enemies that Obama will go as far as they push him to get a deal, and one that is not in our best interest, only theirs. He caved to what he, and other Democrats called hostage takers. Imagine al Qaeda’s smile.

  • Tampa Democrat

    Good for the President to ‘man up’ and strike a tax deal. Like it or not, had a bargain not been struck, everyone’s taxes would have jumped at the end of this month. Bad idea during tough times. The odds are good it will get through the lame duck Congress, but not dead certain. So some tough bargaining is ahead of Mr. Obama. Bargaining and horse-trading are not strong points for him.

    When first elected, forget about hope and change for a moment, and remember he never really held a job where decisions were required. Running a business is not a theoretical exercise and saying no and angering people comes with the territory of being a leader. The President never really led anything. Smart, articulate, inspirational (to some anyway) but woefully lacking in any experience. He lived a staccato life of rapid moves around the world, and I don’t think he ever learned how to play with other kids.

    When he got to the White House he told Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid to figure out the health plan. Disaster followed if only in the length of time it took for Congress to wrangle while the economy was spiraling down. Like an offensive line in football that gets collectively better the longer they play together as each individual learns what his teammate is likely to do and when he is likely to do it, a President and his Congressional leaders need to play together. They learn how to get along. This President stayed above the fray and he never struck an alliance with Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Reid. They grew apart.

    We should have guessed any tax deal was going to come from the White House alone, and not in concert with Congress. President Obama doesn’t know how to play. So when there was blow-back, the President says his Democratic opponents are “purist” and “sanctimonious.” While true, at least to me, this isn’t how you handle yourself in the sandbox. And that’s why there is a chance of this thing not passing. So okay, the President struck a deal, but he has some long way to go. Remember Tip O’Neil, legendary Speaker of the House (D. Mass.)? He once said it was a shame to say about such an amiable man, but, “It is a disgrace that Ronald Reagan was President of the United States.” Reagan roared with laughter when he heard about it, and had the Tipster over to the White House for drinks shortly after. Both men knew how to play the game and both had an abiding fondness for each other. They grew up sharing and playing.

    And I am also a bit worried about Ben Bernanke. You want to believe the head of the Federal Reserve system knows a bit about economics and other such stuff. When Ben launched QE 2, he said long bond rates would come down and implied the dollar would weaken. The ten-year Treasury has gone from a yield of about 2.4% to its current 3.3% or so. I don’t have the exact level because I am, for a change, on a plane. I think they modeled George Clooney’s character in “Up in the Air” after me (except he’s younger, better looking, has more hair — a lot more hair — and fitter; maybe they had another guy in mind). The dollar has strengthened and mortgage rates have moved from close to 4% for a 30-year fixed rate to 4.66%. Uh, Ben?

    With the tax rate deal on the table and expected to get done, and with the payroll tax temporary suspension going to keep $120 billion in consumers hands, lots of folks are raising expectations for GDP growth in 2011. If I had to guess, the consensus is around 3%, with some as high as 4%. One of the issues is the tax rates are for two years, not permanent. Americans tend to look past temporary relief and act differently than if it was permanent. We’ll see.

    Actually, may not see since house dems just spanked obama, trashed tax deal, to show him whose the boss…this is a national embarrassment.

  • Evil

    A majority don’t want tax cuts for the rich, and then they put republicans in congress.

    What do they expect Obama to do – oscillate between two dimensional planes somehow?

    Is anyone seriously saying that if Obama had fought harder, he would have rustled the people who voted republican but wanted the tax cuts to expire for the rich, and thus scared the GOP into submission?