Why Congressional Democrats Will Cave and Support the Tax Deal

Posted: Dec 08, 2010 5:26 PM
During yesterday's disastrous press conference, President Obama cited polling data that he said reinforces the liberal meme that the public opposes extending all Bush tax rates: 

"The fact of the matter is the American people already agree with me.  There are polls showing right now that the American people, for the most part, think it’s a bad idea to provide tax cuts to the wealthy...the issue is not me persuading the American people; they’re already there."

Over to you, Gallup:

This strikes me as the best evidence yet that despite all their furious bluster, Congressional Democrats will ultimately turn tail and accept the White House/GOP tax compromise.  The two most prominent elements of the deal -- extending the tax cuts for all Americans and extending the unemployment eligibility window -- both enjoy 2/3 support among the American people.  Independents strongly favor both pillars of the plan.  Even 52 percent of Democrats surveyed support preserving the current Bush tax rates -- in spite of all the class warfare rhetoric their Party has unleashed.  The politics of envy have fallen flat.

Faced with this polling data, and the fact that a Democratic president forged this deal and is insisting on its passage, are Democrats in Congress really going to defeat this thing?  Don't count on it.  If they do, it will amount to a scathing (and I suspect lasting) indictment of the president's leadership, and it will hand Republicans a killer talking point: 

"Hey, we worked in a bipartisan manner and reached a good-faith agreement with President Obama to block massive tax hikes and to extend unemployment, but Democrats in Congress said no."  

This narrative would be an unmitigated disaster for Democrats; even Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi should be able to grasp that fact.  For that reason, I strongly believe Democrats will fume and gnash their teeth for a while longer, but will eventually shut up and salute.