Opinion | Joshua Green
Republicans vs. Republicans
While conservatives are at odds over taxes, Obama gains points
With the Iowa caucuses just 10 days away, tradition dictates that the nation’s political attention should be riveted upon the race for the Republican presidential nomination. But while that contest remains wide open, the focus of attention swung to Washington this week, where a revolt by Tea Party freshman has jeopardized a bipartisan agreement to extend a payroll tax cut that would save the average family about $1,000 over the course of a year. This latest episode is more damaging than earlier revolts over the continuity of government and raising the debt ceiling because it threatens to make Republicans culpable for raising taxes - supposedly a cardinal sin for them - and in defiance of a bipartisan agreement that would avoid this. Their intransigence has pitted Republicans against one another.