Much as I love Barack Obama, one irritating thing about him is that he would probably prefer to strike a deal with John Boehner in the lame duck session than to let the Bush tax cuts reset automatically in January. That’s terrible. Any deal that happens before January 1 is going to be worse for liberals than one that happens after January 1, so we all need to be rooting for House Republicans to botch the negotiations. Liberals’ best friend in the lame duck session is really Eric Cantor, whose looming leadership challenge to Boehner is probably going to force Boehner to scuttle any deal before January. As Pete Davis points out, Boehner’s unlikely to get unified House Republican support for a deal, so he’ll need some House Democrats to pass anything. The best thing House Democrats can do is refuse to negotiate and make Boehner find all the votes in his own caucus:
One big final impediment will remain after a deal is announced — The House may not pass it. In July, 2011, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) thought he had agreed to a deal with President Obama which his colleagues would support, but House Republicans rejected it. He was put in the embarrassing position of having to return to the bargaining table to cut a smaller, kick the can down the road deal, with the Super Committee that failed, and the $109 b. sequester that no one wants. I’m sure he’ll be a lot more careful this time around to whip his support before finally signing off on a deal. Anything the House Republican Caucus will pass is unlikely to attract more than a handful of Democratic votes, even if President Obama supports it. Boehner will not get united House Republican support for any deal. He may need Democratic votes to pass it, and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is unlikely to supply them. That’s the problem.