You never win any Washington debate unless you declare yourself the winner. Period. No third party — let alone the press — will declare you the victor until you bestow the honors upon yourself. It’s just the way the town works.
George W. Bush was very good at that. He declared himself the winner time and again, often when by any objective standard he was the clear loser. But it worked.The Republicans via Mitch McConnell just balked in an epic, paradigm-shifting way that could finally shift the long-moldering debate on fiscal policy. The debt ceiling negotiations have revealed one of the bedrock foundational elements of the GOP platform — spending cuts are the only way to balance the budget — to be built on the shifting sands of political expediency.
Obama needs to quickly move to declare victory in this thirty-year debate on taxes. Do it now, with the biggest, wickedest grin he can muster while Republicans are in disarray fighting amongst themselves.
The curtain has been pulled back. The wizard has been revealed as a small insecure man. But in Washington no one will acknowledge even a seminal moment unless you grab ahold of it and declare it as such.