In an effort to end an impasse over taxes, President Barack Obama plans to send Congress a scaled-back proposal Thursday to avoid the harshest impacts of the fiscal cliff, sources told CNN.
A Republican senator said Obama told Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, that the president’s plan would arrive on Thursday, and a Senate Democratic leadership member also said that was the approach being taken. Both sources spoke on condition of not being identified further.
The move would answer McConnell’s call for the president or Senate Democrats to make the first move in the political standoff over how to prevent or soften automatic tax hikes and spending cuts of the fiscal cliff set to take effect in the new year — just five days away.
Meanwhile, Steve Benen reminds us that both sides DO NOT do it:
I’m reminded once again of this thesis from Thomas Mann and Norm Orstein.
The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.
When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges.
“Both sides do it” or “There is plenty of blame to go around” are the traditional refuges for an American news media intent on proving its lack of bias, while political scientists prefer generality and neutrality when discussing partisan polarization. Many self-styled bipartisan groups, in their search for common ground, propose solutions that move both sides to the center, a strategy that is simply untenable when one side is so far out of reach.
Keep this in mind, not only when Lieberman whines, but when we see efforts like Starbucks’ “come together” initiative. As Jonathan Cohn explained very well this morning, “Washington doesn’t need two parties that can ‘come together.’ It needs one party to ‘get it together.'”