CBS News reports, House GOP: We have the votes for “Plan B”. This does not come as a surprise. All the Republican authoritarian followers got the word from Grand Poobah Grover Norquist that it is okay to vote for this bill, so they will. I hope you weren’t all thinking that previous Republican resistance to tax increases came out of some ideological commitment. They were resistant because they hadn’t been given permission.
The CBS News story tries to tell both sides of the conflict, but they completely miss the point that “Plan B” would be a tax increase for many middle income families. When discussing modern American politics the media can be either even-handed or objective. They always go with even-handed. Being objective would require making a judgement and that would lead to conservatives calling them liberal. Of course, the conservatives call them liberal anyway, so I don’t exactly know what they think they buy with this false equivalence.
There is still a fair chance that the House will not bring a vote on “Plan B” to the floor. It will not take that many defections from the Republican Caucus for it to fail. But the fact remains that if Uncle Norquist had not given his consent, Boehner wouldn’t even try; he wouldn’t have half the votes that he needs.
Update (20 December 2012 5:30 pm)
Well, I guess they didn’t have the votes after all. It doesn’t mean all that much. There were roughly 25 Republicans who were not going to vote for “Plan B” and almost no Democrats who were. So what I wrote above was exactly right. And in the end, they might have squeaked out a win. But that would have been even more embarrassing than canceling the vote. Good fun!