The Republican strategy here seemed to be to put a loaded gun to their own temple, then threaten Democrats that if they didn't compromise, Republicans would pull the trigger. Democrats were fine with the consequences of super committee failure: the American public would get soaked to pay for unaffordable social programs. In fact, the consequences of super committee failure are the central philosophy of the Democratic Party platform. Republicans, on the other hand, would be hosed by the results of a super committee failure. The deal, for conservatives, was a dud.
But not for Democrats. So Democrats refused to come to any real solutions in the super committee sessions. And now we're at the fiscal cliff. And President Obama laughs as we go sailing off of it. The American people find themselves in the uncomfortable position of Wile E. Coyote suddenly realizing that he's standing in mid-air.
So, will Republicans cave on taxes? In all likelihood, they will, if only because half a pie is better than no pie at all. But if they do, they'll be violating promises they made to their constituents about taxes.
We can only hope they do. The only Republicans seriously considering raising taxes or eliminating deductions are folks who fought for the super committee non-solution in the first place. They purposefully stepped on a land mine and then claimed duress. Now it's up to the conservative base to put them under real electoral duress.