Ryan Grim of Huffington Post reports:
Senate Democrats are looking to punt the tax-cut debate past the November elections, facing pushback on voting from Democrats facing election in 2010, senior Democratic aides say. The party will gather this afternoon for a caucus-wide meeting to set the pre-election agenda, but it appears increasingly unlikely that it will include the much-hyped tax-cut vote.
The White House has been pushing hard for such a vote, circulating polling showing that a majority of Americans, including wide margins of independents, support extending the middle-class tax cuts. Ultimately, though, Democrats up for election feared an assault from the GOP that the party was raising taxes on “small businesses,” even though a vanishingly small portion of those who would face a tax hike are real small businesses. But, in an age of 30-second commercials, it only takes one to stare into the camera and lament the effect of the tax change on hiring.
2002-2004 called. They want their Democratic chickenshittery back.
Seriously, it’s hard to not react to this by screaming and pulling your hair out. The Obama middle class tax cut was a brilliant squeeze play on Republicans that would both provide a strong electoral boost and show that the Democrats are acting with working Americans’ interests in mind. While Democrats are on the verge of pushing through a month-long electoral surge that has effectively put the House back in a holdable place and made keeping the Senate nearly certain, not holding a vote on Obama’s middle class tax cut package will surely cost Democrats seats in both chambers in November. And it’s all because they’re afraid of what attack ads Republicans will run if Democrats vote against a Republican tax cut for the wealthy and big business. News flash: the whole reason this strategy was going to work was that Democrats were the ones who were going to hit their opponents with ads of them voting against middle class tax cuts!
It’s really hard to want to work for people who are so hell-bent on losing the few legislative fights they choose to pick and losing their seats in the process.