Ever since the Republicans took over the House in 2010, Congressional Democrats have been out-maneuvered in almost every way. Whether its caving on the Budget Control Act or letting Republicans squeeze out concessions on the payroll tax holiday deal, it's been a tough slog for liberals the past year-and-a-half. "Democrats will end up surrendering one way or the other," sighed a distressed Matt Yglesias during the Super Committee battles in November. But now that's beginning to change as the Senate's top Democrat rallies his troops behind a plan to tame Republican maximalism.
The plan, outlined to Politico last night, is to negotiate revenue or tax increases in exchange for a partial extension of the Bush tax cuts. We've of course heard this one before, but this time around, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has two major bargaining chips: One is the automatic 10 percent cuts to the Pentagon and the other is the 100 percent expiration of the Bush tax cuts. Both events will go into effect at the end of this year unless Congress passes legislation, and Republicans are hell-bent on preventing that from happening. In a newly-found display of acquiring a backbone, Reid tells Politico's David Rogers he's willing to screw the Pentagon before letting Republicans get away with deficit reduction without revenue increases.