Let’s use an analogy to explain what I mean. Imagine you were playing a game of chess and your opponent openly stated that he wanted you to move your rook to a certain point on the board.
If your IQ was above room temperature, you would probably be suspicious that he wasn’t trying to help you win the game.
Well, the same thing happens in fiscal policy. I quoted the Hill newspaper last year when some Democrats admitted that their top political goal was to seduce the GOP into a tax increase.
The Democrats’ counter-strategy is a bit more subtle, but has essentially been to find ways to make it very uncomfortable for Republicans to maintain such a rigid anti-tax orthodoxy — to ultimately force Republicans to break their anti-tax pledges and badly splinter their party. That’s what the Buffett Rule is about; that why Dems insist they won’t dismantle the so-called “sequester” — big cuts to defense and even to Medicare — unless Republicans agree to tackle deficits in a balanced way, i.e. by supporting significant new tax revenues. The results have been mixed. They’ve won a small number of GOP votes here and there, and vulnerable members are nowadays more likely to trash or dismiss Grover Norquist in the press than they were last year. But at a very high level within the Democratic Party, there’s a recognition that breaking the GOP on taxes is an absolutely crucial strategic imperative for defending safety net programs over the long term.
That’s a pretty clear statement. We have folks on the left who say they want higher taxes both to prop up big government and to cause internal damage to the GOP.
So we’re now left with a rather strange puzzle. Why would any Republicans (most recently Sen. Lindsey Graham and Jeb Bush) want to help the Democrats achieve those goals?!?