“If there is a single plank in the Democratic platform on which Obama can claim to have won, it is taxing the rich. Obama ignored vast swaths of his agenda, barely mentioning climate change or education reform, but by God did he hammer home the fact that his winning would bring higher taxes on the rich. He raised it so relentlessly that at times it seemed out of proportion even to me, and I wrote a book on the topic. But polls consistently showed the public was on his side.”
“Obama’s goal was to prove to the GOP that their rigid defense of the richest one percent was political poison and to force them to bend. For now, at least, their same monomaniacal refusal to increase any taxes on the rich is leading Republicans to deny any connection between the tax issue and Obama’s victory.”
“Sure, partisan bickering will endure. There will still be Red America and Blue America, Fox News and MSNBC. But with one big difference: During Obama’s first term, and particularly in the last two years, the Republican Party had most of the leverage. The GOP’s willingness to reject stimulus, default on the debt, and sabotage the nation’s credit rating–threats that shook financial markets–often put the White House at the mercy of the opposition. In Obama’s second term, leverage will shift to the Democrats on almost every issue of importance. And that shift has already begun.”
Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol urged the Republican Party to accept new ideas, “including the much-criticized suggestion by Democrats that taxes be allowed to go up on the wealthy,” the Huffington Post reports.
“It won’t kill the country if we raise taxes a little bit on millionaires. It really won’t, I don’t think. I don’t really understand why Republicans don’t take Obama’s offer. Really? The Republican Party is going to fall on its sword to defend a bunch of millionaires, half of whom voted Democratic and half of whom live in Hollywood and are hostile?”