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Republicans Breaking Rank on Fiscal Cliff

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It's too early to claim victory, but the GOP's unified front in regards to taxation appears to be breaking. From the Guardian:

Cracks in Republican opposition to tax rises for the wealthy grew bigger on Wednesday as Barack Obama increased pressure on the party to accept a deal to resolve the fiscal cliff crisis before the holidays.

Obama, emboldened by his election victory, proposed a bill to stop 98% of taxpayers facing automatic rises in January but imposing increases on the remaining 2% of the highest earners. Deep cuts in spending would be left until next year. "My hope is to get this done before Christmas," he said.

Republican congressman Tom Cole, a former chairman of the national Republican congressional committee, broke ranks to say the party should accept Obama's tax proposal. He went further even than three of his Republican colleagues who have said over the last week they might consider accepting rises.

Although there was this today in response to Cole's announcement:

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) signaled no new willingness to bend on raising taxes for the rich Wednesday after one of his more respected GOP colleagues suggested the party should take President Barack Obama's offer to extend Bush-era tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans.

What does this mean? I'm betting they cave to Obama on this - this is the first time in recent memory the GOP has not presented a completely unified front when it comes to taxation, and any signs of weakness means internal debate must be fierce. Obama knows this and will most likely stick to his guns and watch the Republicans fight it out amongst them, then hit them when they're even weaker. And as we've seen, that's the way to beat them.