John Boehner may be a pitiable punching bag of self-preservation at any cynical cost, and Eric Cantor is, incontrovertibly, a sniveling Machiavellian of second-rate ingenuity, and the House Republican caucus doubtlessly promises to complete its historic tenure of majority misrule without a dram of personal honor or even ideological dignity. Together they are the quantum mechanics of politics, they can strut in two places simultaneously -- and naturally.
They worship all tax cuts, including the ones they vote against, or rather don't vote against, which in Boehnerian parliamentary parlance means they're voting for the cut that they're (not) voting down. It's all rather bewildering, unless of course you're a strict constitutionalist who has somehow determined that democratic rule in The People's House is essentially a concept of convenience, which at times must be fanatically finessed for The People's Good.
In bright scarlet circles they're painting themselves as unmistakable targets of political opportunity, or so one would think. Forcing a tax hike on middle-class families already weighted down by a leaden economy of Republicans' making? Goodness me, for Democrats, 2012 will be a cakewalk. Right? No political party in the modern era could deliberately burden the increasingly impoverished while sparing the affluent, and then live to tell about it. Right?
Theoretically, true, just as it was theoretically true that House Republicans' 2011 vote to dismantle Medicare was the radical swan song of a cooked goose. One almost struggles to recall that legislative beginning, although at the time it was collectively assessed by Democrats as Republicans' absolute end. The Dems would haunt the GOP into political oblivion, or so we assumed, with that singular message of Republicans as Medicare-killers; the Dems would stake their ground and plant their flag and riddle the opposition with unrelenting, targeted torment: You bastards tried to kill Medicare. In 2011, 2012 was all over.
Except it wasn't. For 'twasn't long before Democrats were bemoaning instead the horrors of deficit spending and the shame of upper-end tax cuts -- perfectly good political issues, mind you; yet one further noticed that, bit by bit, they came at the expense of the singularly dooming cause: Those Republican bastards tried to kill Medicare.
Now we're assured, by Democrats, that Democrats will blast Republicans from The People's House with the latter's own dynamite of breathtaking fiscal hypocrisy, of sordid indifference to the Everyman, of hubristic power for cowards' sake. But let us remember, these are Democrats we're talking about, who campaign like the canine Doug in "Up": Squirrel.