Let’s not forget how we arrived at the Fiscal Cliff. The Fiscal Cliff itself was a compromise solution, and one that favored Obama. House Republicans agreed to delay addressing the deficit issue until after the presidential election. That undoubtedly helped Obama get re-elected.
He got what he wanted from that compromise. What Republicans got was the Fiscal Cliff commitment. Now as we approach that critical point, Obama is trying to concede as little as possible, making it a double win for him and his policies, by taking his typical non-compromising stand.
The proposed House vote and subsequent withdrawal of Boehner’s Plan B was a strategic move intended to send a clear message to the president that it is time for real compromise. Boehner never intended for a vote to be taken. Plan B’s withdrawal was simply a way of showing the president that the House would not accept his token concessions in compromise negotiations, even if it meant going over the Fiscal Cliff. House Republicans see this contest as setting the stage for their relationship with Obama in his second term, and they plan to stand firm against his “my way or no way” stance.
What will Obama tell us at his inauguration and at the State of the Union if he allows the negotiations to fail, and we go over the “cliff” and into recession? He is already known as the “Blaming President.” Will his legacy identify him as the “Recession President” too?