Did O Neuter House GOP?

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Bloomberg Businessweek ran an interesting piece Wednesday, arguing that Republicans should happily embrace Tuesday’s fiscal cliff deal since “[i]t locks in virtually all the Bush-era income tax cuts, establishes a generous-to-the-wealthy inheritance tax, and maintains low capital gains and dividend taxes,” in addition to generating much less revenue for Washington’s spending addiction than the President previously wanted.

Assuming, of course, that that’s what President Obama really wanted.

I’m not so sure, Save Jerseyans, nor is my favorite conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer, who told Bill O’Reilly last night on FOX that he recognizes a totally different (and completely political) method to the White House’s fiscal madness:

Here’s the key part of Krauthammer’s commentary if you can’t play the video…

I wrote a month ago that his objective in demanding a hike in tax rates was entirely political because the Speaker offered him the same amount of money by eliminating loopholes. So, if he wanted the money, that’s all he wanted was to raise revenues, it was handed to him. But he said no, you have to raise rates. Why? Because he knew that would accentuate the fractures, the fissures in the Republican party, it would neutralize the one oppositionist institution, the House of Representatives. That’s exactly what happened, he succeeded in that. The House has been neutered, you saw what happened last night. And if he gets the House out of the way, he can then be dominant in Washington for his entire second term.”

Now Washington Republicans understand how Trenton Democrats feel!

President Obama has proven expert at dividing and conquering his opposition; not by bringing elements of the opposition into his camp (as Governor Christie is doing in New Jersey) but rather through (1) decreasing political participation with negative tactics/messaging, a tactic that decreased 2012 turnout by roughly 13 million voters versus 2008, and (2) forcing his enemies into situations prone to produce infighting.

Give the Devil his due.

Neutered? Routed? Or even just distracted? No matter how you choose to conceptualize the Republican Party’s present plight, it’s patently obvious that the national GOP isn’t exactly in a strong position to challenge a reportedly imminent push for immigration reform and gun control by the White House, let alone renew its prior push for spending cuts. Exactly how Obama & Co. planned it.

 

Matt Rooney

Matt Rooney

Save Jersey’s Founder and Blogger-in-Chief, Matt Rooney is a widely-respected New Jersey political commentator, practicing attorney at the law firm of DeMichele & DeMichele in Haddon Heights, and a graduate of the Rutgers Camden School of Law.

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