It's been amusing in a sort of horrifying way to watch Congress try to come up with some sort of plan to avert the tax rate rise and spending cuts that are going to occur on January 1, 2013. I don't think I've ever seen a Republican leader admit that he was powerless as Speaker Boehner did last week. "It's now up to the president and Harry Reid," he said. Unbelievable.
But that's what happens when you have a caucus that is comprised of juveniles who are eternally stomping down the hallway and slamming their doors at what they perceive to be their dad. They're perfectly happy to crash the car in order to sate their adolescent power fantasies. They'd rather cut of their nose despite their faces.
And that's just what is going to happen. If no deal is reached by Tuesday (and it looks doubtful), January 2nd is going to be a barn burner at the New York Stock Exchange. At that point, the GOP will be fucked. If they deal now, they are going to get something for those upper income folks. If they wait, however, the only bill they are going to see is one that makes the tax cuts permanent for those making under 250K and they will have no choice but to sign it as the market drops 500-1000 points.
They're also going to get bloody ears (and possibly more) in terms of the spending cuts and will likely have to give in on those as well. Much of their constituency is old people who love Medicare and Social Security. Any sort of cuts will be viewed with much animosity. This doesn't even take into account the defense cuts which, in my view, if they happen, will basically mean the end of the Tea Party. Democrats learned a long time ago that you don't fuck with defense contractors.
So, this begs the question, do the Republicans want to be the Whigs of the 21st century? Given their intransigent stance on immigration (along with the rest of all of this), I think they do. Bottom line: they need to change. If they don't, Texas will turn blue in 2016 or 2020 and that will be it for them.