It started during the administration of George W. Bush – the idea that Republicans/conservatives could create their own reality. In this alternate reality Mitt Romney was going to win the election and the Republicans were going to regain control of the Senate. That didn’t work out too well but as Matt Lewis points out they are still trying.
Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see how Republicans have anything but bad options regarding the fiscal cliff. At least, not in the short term.
Even if Republicans negotiate the best bipartisan deal possible (something akin to the Corker plan), anyone who votes for it would be accused of selling out.
This would cause the base to either become demoralized or (more likely) angry — angry enough to primary the “read my lips” traitors. Either way, it’s not a good thing.
On the other hand, if no deal is reached, Republicans will surely be blamed (this is always a safe assumption and a smart default position — for a variety of reasons.)
This hasn’t stopped some conservative pundits from acting as if Republicans hold all the cards. But the notion that Republicans have leverage is silly. It’s the same kind of happy thinking that led some to boldly predict a Romney victory.
Indeed, they seem to have learned nothing. Doug Mataconis:
The GOP is coming off an election where they completely misjudged the mood of the public, and paid the price for that at the poling place. Now, they’re stuck in a showdown with a re-elected, and clearly confident, President over issues where they are out of step with the public mood. In the midst of this, they’ve got people like Grover Norquist and Rush Limbaugh telling them to hold the line on taxes and not give an inch to the President. And they’re starting to believe it. The longer they hold on to this delusion, the more likely it is that they’ll find themselves on the losing end up of yet another political argument in a month or so.
I would add that unless the Republicans give up their alternate reality they will not only lose anther political argument in a month or so but end up on the losing side of a few more elections.
Cross posted at Middle Earth Journal