Jonathan Chait

How Cynical Is Krauthammer? Answer Inside...

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The other day I was pointing out the trickiness of conservatives following Charles Krauthammer and opposing the tax deal because it will improve economic growth in 2012:

[N]either Romney nor Krauthammer quite say that the growth-boosting effects of the deal are a reason to oppose it. Rather they argue that the higher growth isn't worth the budgetary cost, making it surely the first time either one of them has rejected a debnt-financed tax cut on the basis of its effects on the national debt. It will be interesting to watch anti-deal Republicans try to make their case by hinting at electoral ramifications without coming out and saying so directly.

So, how did Krauthammer's subtle case for economic sabotage play with Republicans? Apparently it wasn't subtle enough, reports Glenn Thrush:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)  who recently claimed his goal was to deny Obama a second term  reportedly reacted with disgust when he read Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer’s recent suggestion that he oppose the package because it would lower unemployment “and easily be the difference between victory and defeat in 2012.” 

Said one person close to McConnell: “We’re not going to bet against the economy. If it helps Obama, so be it. We’ll do it. Who gives a s--t?”

Wow, when Mitch McConnell is disgusted by your cynical obstructionism...

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