WILL GOP LUCY GET SOME DEMOCRATIC FOOTBALL-PULLING HELP?
(UPDATE FRIDAY: Never mind. This is moot. I'm sure something else will screw this up, however.)
John Cole has the logical reaction to news that Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal now seems to have 61 votes, including those of Brown, Murkowski, and Snowe:
I’m Still Wondering How They'll Pull Away The Football
Hmmm ... is this John's answer?
Tax Deal Hits Procedural Snag in the House
The $858 billion tax cut package negotiated by the White House and Republican leaders hit a procedural snag on Thursday, as liberal Democrats skirmished with party leaders over its estate-tax provisions. At issue was whether the House would vote on an amendment to tax a larger proportion of wealthy estates and to apply a higher rate than was provided for in the compromise package.
An aide to the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, described the setback as temporary, and said that it would probably delay an overall vote on the tax plan until Thursday evening.
Liberal Democrats, many of them angry about the prospect of continuing the tax policies of President George W. Bush, complained that party leaders had structured the debate so that they could not vote in favor of amending the estate tax provision without also voting in favor of the entire package.
... Republicans, who are expected to vote for the overall tax plan in large numbers, were unlikely to support the rule, largely because Democrats control the entire process.
... House leaders ... said they expected the bill to be approved and sent to President Obama for his signature....
I still wonder if enough Republicans are going to vote no in the House to sink the deal, in conjunction with angry Democratic liberals. Then Scott 'n' Leese 'n' Limpy can say they wanna vote for DADT repeal, but they swore on a stack of Bibles not to do any voting until the tax cuts were renewed and, well, golly, they just can't welch on a solemn oath, can they?
I know, I know -- Republicans will do anything to get tax cuts for the rich. But I think they're sure they'll get them eventually -- after January, or maybe not until after 2012, assuming Democrats go completely against character and dig in their heels in the next two years after this deal breaks down. But in that unlikely event, everyone's taxes go up, unemployment insurance runs out, Democrats get blamed for all of it (by the rich as well as the non-rich) -- and I think the GOP would be just as happy with that.
And yes, I know that not being able to squeeze in a DADT vote because of the need to get to the START treaty and because of the stall-ball stunt regarding the omnibus bill. But I think the GOP may want a backup plan, just in case.
UPDATE: Or maybe Harry Reid will push the DADT vote to after Christmas and some supporters won't show up -- Democrats, or maybe the GOP three. (And even though Alaska's a long way from D.C., my money's on Brown or Snowe to fail to come through -- it's such a tough trip down the Eastern Seaboard in the winter, don't you know?)