How The Fever Breaks
talkingpointsmemo.com — The White House and the Obama campaign get a lot of guff for resting their second-term hopes on the idea that the GOP will self-moderate after another disappointing loss. I get that this seems absurdly naive on its face. Romney’s the squish who, if Obama wins, will have lost along with Tommy Thompson and Scott Brown (most likely) in what Republicans could construe as the failure of moderation as a political strategy. But I think one post-election event will force Republicans to grapple with the moderation question. If the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of the year, it’ll give President Obama about $4 trillion in revenue over the coming 10 years. That’s way, way more than he’s asked for, more than he presumably wants, and more than the economy can easily bear — so everyone will have a big incentive to negotiate backwards from it.