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Obviously, they'll have handed the Republicans a gift for the fall elections -- a message that "Democrats failed to do anything to prevent the coming tax increases, but we will!" It's incredibly stupid, and any congressional staffer who thinks "the message is out there" that Democrats are for middle-class tax cuts and Republicans are for tax cuts for the rich needs to pull his head out of his Beltway.
But it gets worse than that, because without ending on the tax cut vote, which win or lose is an electoral winner for Democrats, the final note of this Congress is going to be the failure to pass the defense authorization with DADT repeal and the DREAM Act attached. And that cuts both ways. As seen in Andrew Sullivan's idiotic note that he'd vote for an anti-gay rights candidate like Angle over a pro-gay rights candidate like Reid because of Reid's incompetence on the issue, the LGBT community is left mad and dispirited. But more important for the midterms, independents are now left with an image (fostered by the media) that the Democrats imperiled funding our troops because they kowtowed to "special interests" (gays, immigrants) with these amendments.
Not only will the Democrats be pissing away a golden opportunity, but they've managed to replace it with something that alienates a core constituency *and* swing voters at the same time. Ridiculous.