From Breitbart.com comes the headline:
Last week, President Barack Obama left for his Christmas vacation, effectively ending negotiations towards a deal on the "fiscal cliff" before new tax hikes and spending cuts take effect on January 1. Now conservatives who derailed Speaker of the House John Boehner's "Plan B" proposal for tax hikes on millionaires last week--a plan Democrats would not support anyway--are steeling Republicans to face the political consequences.
The Hill reports that conservative organizations such as Club for Growth are encouraging Republicans to look beyond poll data that suggests the public blames them, and to see the fiscal cliff as a bigger loss for Obama:
“I think Obama is very mindful of his legacy and is horrified of going over the cliff,” said Andy Roth of the Club for Growth. “Going over the cliff might be a signal that needs to be sent to the president, that he needs to play ball.”
Joel B. Pollack wrote about that analysis that it not only defies the polls, but Obama's own assessment of the political fallout. Politico reports that Obama has approached the "fiscal cliff" with new swagger, confident that his legacy has been secured by his re-election rather than any policy outcomes before or since. He is determined to present a tougher face than the supposedly compromising posture that liberals and the media believe he struck in previous talks.
Looking at his negotiating strategy over the past four years, two consistent themes emerge: 1. a lack of personal engagement in talks; 2. a desire to achieve a dominant political win at the cost of a deal itself. The supposed weakness much bewailed by the left is not driven by a desire to reach national consensus but merely Obama's lack of interest in policy details. Obama wants a big political win, not a small policy win, with his eye on the larger goal of ideological victory, once his political foes are too weakened to offer much resistance.