Famed Washington Post journalist and political pundit Charles Krauthammer was a guest on Fox News’ Special Report on Thursday and he offered some pretty bold, but sage advice regarding the fiscal cliff.
“It’s not just a bad deal, this is really an insulting deal. What Geithner offered, what you showed on the screen, Robert E. Lee was offered easier terms at Appomattox, and he lost the Civil War. The Democrats won by three percent of the vote, and they did not hold the House. Republicans won the House. So this is not exactly unconditional surrender, but that is what the administration is asking of the Republicans.
This idea – there are not only no cuts in this, there’s an increase in spending with a new stimulus. I mean, this is almost unheard of. I mean, what do they expect? They obviously expect the Republicans will cave on everything. I think the Republicans ought to simply walk away. The president is the president. He’s the leader. They are demanding that the Republicans explain all the cuts that they want to make.”
Krauthammer is absolutely right. The Democrats claimed they were looking for a solution, but their supposed efforts so far have only shown a complete lack of willingness to move to a solution that does not entail complete surrender by the Republicans. They are more than willing to go to the mat and lay the blame on Republicans, but accepting such a ludicrous deal would have equally devastating results for the American economy, Democrats would get their increased spending and Republicans would still get blamed.”
“The Republicans are going to walk on this. And I think they have leverage. Yes, for congressional Democrats, it will help them in the future if Republicans absorb the blame, because we’re going to have a recession. But Obama is not running again, unlike the congressional Democrats. He’s going to have a recession, 9 percent unemployment, 2 million more unemployed, and a second term that’s going to be a ruin. That is not a good proposition if you are Barack Obama”
The Republicans are getting beat up on messaging and particularly in the media. They will be blamed for the turbulent economic times ahead, but that will happen regardless. If the Republicans can get over their November disappointment, they can brush themselves off and go on the offensive. They have significant power and they need to start acting like it.
Krauthammer is absolutely correct. Democrats aren’t serious about avoiding the fiscal cliff. They have not offered anything even in the ballpark of a realistic measure to avoid the fiscal cliff. They’re willing to accept Republicans’ surrender or they’re willing to pack it in and call it a day. If they’re not going to negotiate realistically, then fine- let them share the political fallout.