* Could GOP accept defense cuts as part of deficit compromise? Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane have the read of the morning: House Republicans are now entertaining defense cuts as an area of compromise that is more likely than tax hikes to prove acceptable to Republicans.
Whether or not this proves to be real, the idea that military cuts are now more acceptable than tax hikes is an interesting sign of just how powerful GOP anti-tax orthodoxy has grown in recent years. This reigning anti-tax orthodoxy, of course, means it’s still unclear whether there are any meaningful revenue enhancers that conservatives won’t label a tax hike and reject as non-starters.
Judging by Senator Jon Kyl’s appearance on Fox news Sunday, there aren’t too many revenue proposals that fit into that category.
Obama is set to meet with Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid today, and this is the week that the deficit talks officially become the President’s show.
* What Dems are demanding in revenues for compromise: Dems have focused in on a package of revenue increasers they want: Higher taxes on “carried interest” earned by hedge fund managers; an end to a perk for owners of corporate jets; and limiting deductions for households earning more than $500,000 a year.
Keep in mind, these aren’t even proposals to raise tax rates on the rich; yet they’re still likely to run into heavy opposition.
* What if GOP needs Pelosi to pass deficit compromise? An interesting dynamic to keep an eye on: If the House GOP leadership faces GOP defections on the deficit deal and needs Dems to get it done, it could enhance Nancy Pelosi’s influence over the final compromise. Pelosi, of course, is drawing just as hard a line against Medicare benefits cuts as Republicans are against tax hikes.
* Pelosi demands seat at final debt talks: She appears to be very eager to exert whatever influence she can over the final outcome.
* House GOPers still under pressure over Medicare: It has receded from the national headlines, but this interesting Syracuse Post-Standard look at the plight of GOP Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle, who is facing serious heat in her New York district over her embrace of the GOP Medicare plan, shows that the issue continues to simmer.Note the calls her office has received from “sobbing seniors.”
The question is whether persistence of these GOP difficulties will make Dems involved in the deficit talks more determined not to give ground on Medicare.
* The next big labor brawl, ctd.: Conservatives and pro business groups are escalating their attacks on the National Labor Relations Board for proposing reduced ligitation and other union representation election reforms. In so doing, they are attacking the NLRB for doing exactly what it’s supposed to do. We’ll be digging into this story here.
* Gay marriage reality check of the day: Despite New York State’s powerful statement last week, 29 states have constitutional bans on marriage, and another dozen have laws against it. And of course DOMA is still on the books — meaning for gays, the battle for freedom from discrimination is far from over.
* Obama/gay marriage reality check of the day: Yes, the President has now basically promised to come out for gay marriage in his second term, but as Kerry Eleveld and John Aravosis note, he may not, you know, win a second term. If so, a major opportunity for gay advocates to secure the kind of inspired presidential leadership they need on marriage may have been lost for a good long time.
Also: A very tough New York Times editorial castigating Obama for not publicly supporting marriage equality makes the crucial point that he will be portrayed by Republicans and conservatives as out of step with American values no matter what he does.
* Obama deserves more credit for finding foreign policy middle ground: E. J. Dionne on how President Obama’s effort to carefully unwind the Bush war era really does constitute the sensible middle ground on foreign policy — and why it could make him vulnerable in 2012.
Also: As Dionne rightly notes, Obama’s rhetorical nod to the need for a leadership role for America abroad, even as he openly acknowledges that there are limits on what American power can accomplish, has both sides persuaded he’s just trying to split the baby and has left neither side happy.
* Michele Bachmann’s presidential announcement: Bachmann, in her presidential announcement speech today, will vow to bring “the sensibilities of this land” to the White House when she is president, another suggestion that Obama’s cultural “otherness” will continue to figure heavily in the 2012 race.
* Will Tea Party icon Bachmann upstage T-Paw? Another thing to watch this week is that the 2012 contenders will release their first fundraising reports, a crucial sign of their ability to compete, and Bachmann’s fundraising prowess as a national Tea Party icon could dramatically overshadow Tim Pawlenty’s money peformance.
.That, in turn, could lead to a lot of insider chatter about how Bachmann is rapidly emerging as the anti-Romney candidate in the race.
* And a new Post blog about the political media: I’m glad to see that Eric Wemple’s new blog of reported opinion about the political media has now gone live. You should bookmark it, because Wemple is promising to keep a close eye on all the deeply annoying things political reporters and commentators do on a regular basis.
What else is happening?
UPDATE: Link to Bachmann announcment speech item fixed.
UPDATE II: ...and the link to the NLRB story is also fixed. Apologies for the link snafus today.