Big D ‘Defeat’ Is a Tea Party ‘Victory’

I asked Ryan Hecker, the Houston lawyer who organized the Contract from America, his opinion of the tax deal. He was encouraging to Republicans in Washington, considering the deal a bit of a tea-party victory: “I think it was a big victory for Republicans, who are still in the minority in the House, and the tea-party movement. President Obama capitulated on the full extension of the tax cuts, back-tracking on statements he made just a few months ago. And such back-tracking is occurring with the exact same Democat-run Congress that passed the stimulus, Dodd-Frank, and nationalized health care still in power. This ‘compromise’ illustrates that Obama and Democratic leaders recognized the extension of the tax cuts as a clear election mandate from the people.”

Hecker adds: “Do I wish the tax cuts were made permanent? Sure. I also don’t love that the unemployment-insurance extension was included. And if it were February, with the Republicans in control of the House, I would be calling for the House leadership’s heads. But in December, this is really a gigantic victory for Republicans and an exclamation-point defeat for Democrats.”

Kathryn Jean Lopez — Kathryn Jean Lopez is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and an editor-at-large of National Review. Sign up for her weekly NRI newsletter here. This column is based on one available through Andrews McMeel Universal’s Newspaper Enterprise Association.