Once again, House Republicans have taken their ball and gone home.
Members of the House of Representatives bolted town on Thursday after rejecting a plan advanced by House Speaker John Boehner.
It is not the first time Boehner has offered a deal he later had to rescind because he could not get his own people to back the plan.
But it is probably the last.
Boehner’s days as the Speaker of the House appear to be numbered.
Because his colleagues think he is not conservative enough.
Ignoring the fact that a majority of the country finds the Republican Party too extreme. Ignoring the fact that almost a quarter of Republicans agree that their own party is too extreme. Ignoring the fact that President Obama enjoys close to a 20 point advantage in his approval rating when compared to House Republicans. Ignoring the fact that a majority of Americans believe the Republicans need to accommodate more.
Ignoring all these facts, House Republicans continue to act like petulant children in the face of a huge political reality: on January 1 all taxes go back to the Clinton era levels.
Heaven forbid we enjoy the economic expansion that the Clinton tax rates helped usher in.
Following the First Bush Recession and an economy in decline, bogged down by growing deficits Clinton responsibly raised taxes rather than delivering the middle class tax cuts he promised on the campaign trail.
Clinton did not to the politically popular thing. It cost him the House of Representatives two years later.
But Clinton did the right thing. The middle class prospered more in that economy than they ever would have with a marginal reduction in their income tax rates. They made so much more income that the net effect was far greater for them.
Today, we face a similar drag on the economy. We demand more government services than we are willing to pay for.
The problem is not Social Security and the problem is not Medicare.
The problem is that we are not taking in the revenues we need to have a prosperous economy.
Republicans have an out. If they were smart they would cut a deal that is better that what will automatically happen.
If they were smart they would have done that already.
Instead they are very, very stupid. They are miscalculating that Obama will face repercussions if we go over the fiscal cliff. It is the same mistake they made when they got it handed to them over the debt limit in 2011.
Perhaps they think the polls are skewed. Ask President Mitt Romney how that fantasy worked out for him.
Meanwhile we are forced to watch House Republicans fight among themselves to fight for the wealthiest Americans instead of fighting for all Americans.
About Bill Buck
Bill Buck is a Democratic strategist, President of the Buck Communications Group, a media relations and new media strategies consulting business based in Washington, DC, and Managing Director of the online ad firm Influence DSP. He has over twenty years of international and national communications experience. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.