Now, more than ever, Democrats need to have the courage of their convictions. After being repeatedly stymied on goals like extending unemployment benefits in the name of fiscal discipline there is no place this makes more sense than on the question of extending the Bush tax cuts.
Democrats are very well positioned on this issue. They have offered to permanently extend the tax cuts for those making under $250,000 a year. Republicans can take it, or they can extend none of the tax cuts at all. They don't have the power to extend any tax cuts without Democratic cooperation. At the very least, if Republicans want to extend an additional $700 billion in tax cuts, they ought to be required to explain how they plan to pay for it, or make other significant compromises that they wouldn't otherwise support in exchange.
If Republicans want to disappoint everyone making less than $250,000 a year because they can't get tax breaks for the rich as well, so be it. It puts $3,300 billion more in the federal coffers, shows that they are beholden to the rich, and takes the pressure off balancing the federal budget on the backs of federal employees and the beneficiaries of social programs.
Extending all of the tax cuts until a time when the Republicans are in stronger position politically and conceding their starve the beast policy approach is utter stupidity in negotiation stances by the surrender money Democrats in Congress, most notably for Colorado, Senator Michael Bennet, who has proposed just such as stupid approach.
I'm not hopeful that Democrats have wised up. We'll see when the lame duck session begins tomorrow.