Charles Krauthammer has it right in a post at NRO tonight, It’s Nothing But a Power Play:
Obama’s objective is to fracture the Republican majority in the House
Let’s understand President Obama’s strategy in the “fiscal cliff” negotiations. It has nothing to do with economics or real fiscal reform. This is entirely about politics. It’s Phase Two of the 2012 campaign. The election returned him to office. The fiscal-cliff negotiations are designed to break the Republican opposition and grant him political supremacy, something he thinks he earned with his landslide 2.8-point victory margin on Election Day.
This is why he sent Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to the Republicans to convey not a negotiating offer but a demand for unconditional surrender….
What’s going on here? Having taken Boehner’s sword, and then his shirt, Obama sent Geithner to demand Boehner’s trousers….
What should Republicans do? Stop giving stuff away. If Obama remains intransigent, let him be the one to take us over the cliff. And then let the new House, which is sworn in weeks before the president, immediately introduce and pass a full across-the-board restoration of the Bush tax cuts.
Obama will counter with the usual all-but-the-rich tax cut — as the markets gyrate and the economy begins to wobble under his feet.
Result? We’re back to square one, but with a more level playing field. The risk to Obama will be rising and the debt ceiling will be looming. Most important of all, however, Republicans will still be in possession of their unity, their self-respect — and their trousers.
John Boehner has a choice. Participate in the destruction of the Republican majority in the House and abandon 59,142,004 people who voted against Obama, or …
Choose the Christmas Strategy, and make Obama take us off the cliff.
You don’t understand how angry those 59,142,004 voters are right now at the humiliation you are enduring but which is directed at us.