Sure, President Obama may have negotiated his tax-cut deal with the ostensible Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell. But now the Teabagger King, Sen. Jim DeMint -- the GOP's real Senate leader -- has come out saying "No dice."
A leading conservative voice in the Senate said Tuesday he will vote against the tax cut deal President Obama brokered with Republicans in Congress.
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) said that he will oppose a potential cloture vote on the accord and a final vote if the package advances past a possible filibuster.
"No," the senator said his votes will be on the conservative Hugh Hewitt Show.
DeMint's stance indicates that a number of Republicans are not yet on board with the proposal in addition to a seemingly large bloc of Democrats in the House and Senate.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said earlier Wednesday he is "pleased" with the deal and hoped that "a large majority of members of the Republican conference will find this a proposal worth supporting."
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who has lead liberal opposition to the plan in the Senate, reiterated Tuesday that he is prepared to filibuster the deal after Obama held an afternoon press conference to sell the plan to skeptics.
The senator explained the timing of his announcement by saying that he was, "kind of holding my fire to let the liberals blast this thing first."
DeMint is following the propaganda line being laid out by the Club for Growth, the right-wing millionaires' political arm, in their attacks on the deal, as you can see from watching the Club's president, Chris Chocola, natter on endlessly this morning on Fox about how tax cuts have supposedly been proven to be the be-all and end-all of economic stimulus plans (when in fact just the opposite is true).
Dave Weigel thinks that DeMint's not putting that great a stake into this position, but David Waldman at DKos wonders if it means Obama's tax-cut deal is effectively defunct:
DeMint said that "the biggest problem" he has with the plan is that it does not extend the tax cuts permanently.
But would it matter if it did? Last week, DeMint ally Tom Coburn (R-OK) objected to and sunk another "deal" that "Senate Minority Leader" Mitch McConnell (R-KY) thought he'd negotiated and that would have given the Senate a chance at a vote last Saturday on just such a plan. Why? Because doing so gives Republicans more opportunities to screw with Democrats, that's why. Is it true that all Republicans want is to serve the rich? Well, maybe. But if there's anything they want even more right now, it's to show the world the sight of Democrats losing as often and on as many fronts as possible. Who gives a crap about the taxes and whatnot? That'll all come soon enough.
Is it all just so totally chaotic and unpredictable that there was just no avoiding it? Well, I certainly haven't considered Mitch McConnell to be the minority leader for some time now. And you know what? Neither has McConnell ...
Most likely this is just political theater thrown up for the benefit of the Tea Partiers. But we'll see how this shakes out in terms of Senate votes.