Editor's note: David Gergen is on AC360 tonight at 8 and 10 .m. ET. Follow him on Twitter.
Forgive me, but haven't we seen this movie before in the aftermath of national elections? Usually, it doesn't end well.
In the weeks since his victory, President Barack Obama has argued - correctly - that voters are demanding that high-income Americans pay higher taxes as a way to reduce deficits. Some 60% in exit polls endorsed that proposition, and a Pew/Washington Post poll released this week found that 60% still support it. The president, then, has good reason to push the idea.
In a breakthrough, House Speaker John Boehner quickly lined up behind the idea of the wealthy paying more. He still disagrees with the president on how to get there, of course, but critics are losing sight of how far Boehner seems prepared to go. In private negotiations with Obama last year, the two men first agreed on raising $800 billion in new taxes over 10 years. When Obama pushed to see whether Boehner would go up another $400 billion to $1.2 trillion, the talks fell apart amid bitter recriminations and conflicting accounts of what happened.
I was taken aback hearing David Gergen suggests that the White House is attempting to humiliate Republicans. Strikes of titanic hubris! David is quick to resume the posture of attacking this president on substance and if not substance on style, if not style, comparison and if not by comparison, then simply marginalized. I never heard David suggest that Republican attempted to humiliate the president. Republicans publicly announced their ambition to make Obama a one termer and they spent 4 years attempting to humiliate him at every turn. I find David's comment obviously untempered.
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