By Steve Benen - The Wall Street Journal had an interesting report the other day on the congressional fight over extending the payroll tax cut through 2012. Democrats were quoted as saying they feel like they have the advantage in this debate — they’re the ones fighting for a middle-class tax break — but one Republican said something in response that stood out for me.
"Terry Holt, a former House GOP aide who is close to Mr. Boehner, said any perceived political advantage is superficial, compared to the way Democrats have lost ground on spending issues over the past year.
" 'Democrats are trying to put the best face on a very bad year for them,' Mr. Holt said. 'This year belongs to the Republicans.' [emphasis added]
Holt apparently looks back at the nearly-completed year and believes it’s been a good one.
He’s not alone. National Journal published the results of its latest Congressional Insiders Poll yesterday, and one of this week’s questions was, “What grade (A+ through F) would you give the first year of the 112th Congress?” Republicans were fairly impressed — a 39% plurality gave this Congress so far a B, and 28% gave it a C. While 66% of Democrats gave it an F, only 6% of Republicans felt the same way.
To my mind, this Congress is proving to be one of the worst — most destructive, most negligent, most dysfunctional — in the history of the country, but for Republicans, there’s a sense that 2011 wasn’t that bad. Indeed, a month ago, none other than House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) defended his institution, saying it’s his job to make Congress work, “and it is working.”
I wonder what the weather is like in the GOP’s reality.
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