Meet the Few, the Proud, the Republican Defectors on Taxes

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 30 2012 3:40 PM

Meet the Few, the Proud, the Republican Defectors on Taxes

Coverage of the fiscal cliff fight suffers from a common problem: Dyscalculia. Every Republican bolting from orthodoxy and saying he's open to a vote for something is treated like a crack in a dam. It's not at all clear that the bolters have that much power.

First, here's the guide I use to judge the deal-ish nature of a Republican: The roll call on the 2011 debt limit compromise. A total of 174 Republicans voted for the final bill, many of whom had pledged not to increase the debt limit. In the Senate, 28 of 47 Republicans voted for it.


The "just pass a deal now that increases top rates" caucus: Tom Cole (OK), Mike Simpson (ID), Bob Dold (IL), Mary Bono Mack (CA). All of them voted for the 2011 deal. And in the House, that's basically it.

The "pass a comprehensive plan that raises top rates" caucus: Lindsey Graham (SC), Bob Corker (TN). Corker voted for the deal; Graham did not.

And... hurm, I expected this to be a longer list, but that's about as many Republicans as have actually emerged and said they're willing to deal. According to Republicans, there's a far larger group of members angry at the White House's dealing thus far, such as the leak of the 28-minute phone call between Obama and Boehner that resolved nothing. Cole, the dealmaker, is among the members irritated at the White House's opening offer for a long-term deal. It's in the interest of Democrats to pretend that the other side is cracking, but that really hasn't happened yet.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics



The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

An Iranian Woman Was Sentenced to Death for Killing Her Alleged Rapist. Can Activists Save Her?

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

We Need to Talk: A Terrible Name for a Good Women’s Sports Show


Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.


How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

The U.S. Has a New Problem in Syria: The Moderate Rebels Feel Like We’ve Betrayed Them

Homeland Is Good Again! For Now, at Least.

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 1 2014 12:20 PM Don’t Expect Hong Kong’s Protests to Spread to the Mainland
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
The Eye
Oct. 1 2014 1:04 PM An Architectural Crusade Against the Tyranny of Straight Lines
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 2:08 PM We Need to Talk: Terrible Name, Good Show
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Oct. 1 2014 1:53 PM Slate Superfest East How to get your tickets before anyone else.
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 3:02 PM The Best Show of the Summer Is Getting a Second Season
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 3:01 PM Netizen Report: Hong Kong Protests Trigger Surveillance and Social Media Censorship
  Health & Science
Oct. 1 2014 2:36 PM Climate Science Is Settled Enough The Wall Street Journal’s fresh face of climate inaction.
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.