In light of the final vote on the tax deal, let’s revisit an argument that broke out on the comments thread of this post. Do the reasons for a legislator’s vote matter or is anything less than a vote for the full extension of the tax cuts support for a tax increase? Take a look at the roll call: most conservative Republicans voted for the deal. But a not insignificant number voted no, even though they favor keeping the Bush tax cuts (and want to keep them even longer than the terms of this deal).
So even though Mike Pence, Michele Bachmann, and Jeff Flake voted with Alan Grayson, Charlie Rangel, and Maxine Waters, don’t you think the rationales behind their votes make a difference? Or were they, as some commenters said of Republicans who voted for the Democrats’ middle-class tax bill, “giving aid and comfort to the enemy?” What about Republicans like Paul Ryan, Jeb Hensarling, and Eric Cantor who voted for it? Ron Paul, by the way, voted for the bill with the inclusion of tax cuts for upper-income earners.