The press isn't scandalized by this particular intransigence. It isn't a favorite topic on the Sunday shows whether the influence of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who opposes all meaningful spending cuts, will be broken in the Democratic Party. No one is outraged that the left is mustering a lobbying campaign to keep President Barack Obama from giving anything on entitlements in the talks over the fiscal cliff.
But whenever a Republican says he won't abide by Grover's pledge, the media act like a choir of angels celebrating another saved soul. So far, it's only the usual suspects in the party, although House Speaker John Boehner has signaled a willingness to raise more revenue if the president will cut entitlement spending. What makes this time different than prior budget showdowns is that Republicans can remain technically compliant with the pledge by doing nothing, and taxes would still go up on everyone automatically at the end of the year.
A deal, then, could make sense, depending on the parameters. As the cliff approaches, all the pressure within Washington and within the media will be for Republicans simply to cave to the president. Grover will make it as painful as possible for them to do it, and should wear the resulting elite obloquy as a badge of honor.
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