Obama vs. Pelosi on tax cuts

Within days of the President’s announcement that he was mulling compromise on his predecessor’s tax cuts, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced she will continue to fight the possibility of renewal.

Pelosi still has the power to make sure the tax cuts expire, as her party will still hold the majority from November 15th through the Christmas recess and the tax cuts officially expire January 1st.

I predict that in the coming week we’re going to see a lot of news about this minor “rebellion” within the party, with the House Speaker defying the stated intent of the President. But from a strategic standpoint this is a rather banal occurrence. Pelosi is running for minority leader – ego, she needs to position herself at the Democratic median, while Obama needs to stay at the overall electorate’s median. And this doesn’t look particularly different from how many minority-party voting strategies look. When she’s the minority leader, Pelosi is going to be leading a lot of party-line ‘No’ votes – why doing so on the issue of tax cuts is unclear. This doesn’t really look like a party rebellion so much as political common sense.

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