But this is just the beginning, and it's tempting to wonder whether Reid has given up on this bill in order to have a chance to push Republicans further on the tax bill. House liberals are busy trying to insert more taxpayer-hostile provisions into the deal that has already been negotiated by their leader, the President, and Republicans.
I have been positively disposed toward the tax deal as it's clearly the best that can be obtained before the economy is damaged by rate increases, but Republicans need to make it clear that the deal that's already been negotiated is a take-it-or-leave-it proposition. Otherwise, it sends a signal of weakness from the Republicans that they can get pushed around by the fringe left of the Democrats -- and that's a bad precedent for the next Congress (never mind the image of weakness and irrelevance it would impose on the President).
The GOP needs to speak with a loud, unified voice. An agreement has already been struck by the President and the GOP that will prevent a tax increase in January. If that agreement is scuttled -- and the economy and American taxpayers are victimized by skyrocketing rates -- then those most clearly to blame are the leftist fringes, and the President who couldn't even lead his own party.