Republicans find a way to distance themselves from the tax hikes....
Step One...they have publicly offered up their sacrificial lamb, Boehner. He will bare the brunt of all of the criticisms regarding the negotiations with Obama. He alone will take the blame for tax hikes. He alone is negotiating right now. There is a reasons for this. The rest of the Republican pack KNOW the inevitability of the tax hike for the top 2% and they are protecting their donor pool. They can point to Boehner and tell their constituency that "it's all his fault."
Step Two...ensure that all talking heads, media, Limbaugh, Fox etc are promoting the meme that there is no negotiating with Obama and he is so determined, it-will-happen.
The Republicans are so sure they can distance themselves, that their constituency will find no blame. There is no need to actually have an accomplishment record here. It's all about keeping up the farce of non complicity......which of course is the same thing as not compromising, standing their ground...everything they have done for the last 4 years.
1. republicans' best angle is to have negotiations "fail" first, THEN cut a little
if the top tax rate goes up to 39.6% because negotiations fail, they'll of course blame obama no matter what.
then they can agree on a package that includes the top rate getting cut to 38% or 37% or whatever and claim that's a tax CUT rather than a tax hike.
remember that the tax HIKE (expiration of the shrub cuts) was originally voted in in the early days of the shrub years; it just took years to kick in. it's nothing anyone is doing NOW. they could just as well call this "the bush tax hike".