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Krauthammer: Obama Will Have A Failed Second Term If We Go Over Fiscal Cliff

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Obama has never offered anything in public about entitlements. He always says he wants a discussion. And now he says, after the Republicans give up their one issue of taxes, I'll discuss a bargain next year. Of course he wants that because that'll be the time when the Republicans are defrocked, disrobed and disarmed. They have nothing to bargain with. Look, the Republicans started out, as Steve indicated, by offering a peace pipe, by saying we'll raise the revenues. And they just had a punch in the nose this afternoon. Any Republican who buys this is a fool.

The Republicans stood for one thing consistently. It's held them together ideologically, and generally speaking it's helped them electorally. They are the low-tax party. The other guys want to tax to match their reckless spending. If they give it up now in return for nothing, Obama wins and he wins big.

Now I understand why Democrats are doing this. They imagine that the Republicans have no bargaining power today. I say it's true that if Republicans resist, they'll take the blame. And that will help the Democrats in the Congress. But Obama is never running again. He doesn't care who gets the blame. He's going to be the president. He's a lame duck. He wants a successful second term. If it starts by going over the cliff, it starts with a second recession, two million unemployed, and a wrecked second term. That's the leverage that Republicans have over Obama, and they ought to use it and not cave in in the face of a demand that I think is utterly unacceptable.

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KRAUTHAMMER: The Republicans have one card. If we go over the cliff, Obama will have a failed second term. And that's the one thing he cares about and he's in charge. The idea that Republicans are here empty handed is a huge mistake. They assume it's so, they're going to cave. They will undermine their entire stance of the low-tax party, for a generation they're going to lose that issue. The same way that George Bush Sr., he made a promise on taxes, he went against it. It destroyed his career.

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