Boehner clearly wants this out of the way and figures that once again the Dems will shoot themselves in the head on this one. He may not be wrong.
Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Rev.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) are pledging to back the president's position as in sync with the views of a majority of Democrats in each chamber. But amid signs of a weakening economy, a growing number of Democrats would prefer to extend all tax cuts, at least for a year or two - a compromise that Obama did not explicitly rule out during his news conference on Friday. Another approach that is gaining traction would raise the $250,000 income threshold to $1 million per household, to exempt families who live in regions with high costs of living.
Half a dozen Democratic senators and Senate candidates have voiced support for a temporary extension of tax cuts for the rich. In the House, more and more incumbents have also taken that position. Among them is Rep. Gary Peters, a Michigan Democrat who represents a traditionally Republican seat in the Detroit suburbs. Peters told the Detroit Free Press last week that extending the cuts "is the right thing to do, as anything less jeopardizes economic recovery."
Some Democrats would even prefer to push the tax cuts aside until after the election.
And if the Dems blow this, it's going to end them. Boehner is counting on that happening and is already putting all the blame on what happens squarely on the Dems. He figures enough Blue Dogs will revolt to kill the whole thing, and that's exactly what he wants to see happen.
Can the Dems maintain enough coherence to get this together? That remains to be seen.