Friday, January 01, 2021

The Hope Of A New Day



Happy New Year and welcome to 2021!  In less than three weeks, President Donald Trump will be out of office and the country will become normal.

 

It's always good to start the new year off with  joke.  Here is a better one:

Harris must have dipped, heavily, into the egg nog before concluding she is "filled with optimism" about the upcoming year.  In mid-2019, Ryan Grim reminded us of the effort at the tail end of 2012 by Democrats, a minority in the House of Representatives but majority in the Senate, to repeal the Bush tax cuts for thewealthy.  Senate Democrats had agreed to an extension, which

meant that the tax cuts were now expiring in 2012, and in order to repeal all of them — to go over what the media began calling the “fiscal cliff” — all Congress had to do was nothing. That, Harry Reid told me in an interview for my new book, was precisely his plan. “I wanted to go over the cliff,” said Reid, the Senate majority leader at the time. “I thought that would have been the best thing to do because the conversation would not have been about raising taxes, which it became, it would have been about lowering taxes.”

In other words, let all the rates go up, and then bargain with Republicans to reduce taxes just for the middle class and the poor. Then-Minority Leader Mitch McConnell similarly knew the difficult position going over the cliff would put him in, and in preliminary talks with Reid, he agreed to let rates on people making more than $250,000 per year go back up, if to slightly lower levels to pre-Bush. (McConnell aides would later say that McConnell had not firmly conceded anything, and that negotiations weren’t finalized.)

McConnell had a strong sense that Reid intended to go over the cliff and put Republicans up against a wall. Told that Reid had since confirmed that he indeed wanted to go over, a Republican operative said he found the admission unsurprising. “That’s consistent with his body language at the time,” said the operative, who wasn’t authorized to talk on the record about the negotiations. “He knew he could blame it successfully on the hard right in the Republican Party. Negotiations had reached an impasse. It wasn’t just spin, Reid was ready to go over.”

Reid felt like he had successfully pushed McConnell to the brink, buoyed by House Speaker John Boehner’s inability to get his unruly conference to agree to anything. It was now Sunday, December 30, and Democrats only had to hold out until Tuesday to find themselves in a dramatically improved political position, as the dawning of the new year would mean the tax cuts expired and automatically reverted to pre-Bush levels. At that point, it would be Republicans left pleading for rate cuts.

In desperation, McConnell reached out directly to Biden, calling him on the phone and explaining that Reid was refusing to be reasonable. Over the course of the day, McConnell and Biden struck a deal. “Biden gave Republicans everything they wanted in exchange for fixing the fiscal cliff problem,” the GOP operative recalled.

It was a perfect twofer- selling out your own Party and the middle classes in one fell swoop, thus becoming the ideal presidential candidate for Democratic primary voters of South Carolina less than eight years later.

Now slightly more than eight years later, it is clear that the Republican Party has only been emboldened by timorousness of the kind characterizing the Obama-Biden Administration.



Evidently filling the Vice President-elect with optimism are Republicans in one swing state, wherein

Eight of Pennsylvania’s nine Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives have released a joint statement saying they will oppose the certification of Pennsylvania’s electors when Congress meets to count electoral votes on Jan. 6....

Seven of the eight lawmakers also were among the 126 signatories an amicus brief to a lawsuit, filed by Texas’ attorney general, that sought to throw out election results in key battleground states, including Pennsylvania. State Attorney General Josh Shapiro slammed the lawsuit as “seditious abuse"....

There has been no proof of voter fraud.

No proof, and not even any evidence. But Kamala Harris is filled with optimism and Joe Biden is reportedly "convinced we (Democrats and Republicans) can work together for the good of the nation," however he might define "good of the nation." As the post-election maneuvering to maneuver Joe Biden out of a victory continues, the incoming President may need a telescope to find more than a few Republicans who care about the national interest.


 



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