Reports the past 24 hours talk of DC dems -- who will probably lose control of the House and will lose seats in the Senate in the November 2 midterm elections -- trying to ramrod through myriad pieces of democrat party legislation during the lame-duck session (i.e. before the new republicans take their seats) (link to story at bottom). But this would seem to me to be, in large part, a lot to do about nothing since it will be extremely difficult for dems to ram anything controversial through a Senate in which they now lack their prior supermajority (and therefore lack the ability in most instances to avoid a repub filibuster).
But as noted at the top, there appears to be one big exception, which comes in the form of the issue of whether to extend the Bush income tax cuts next year for everyone, for no one, or for only individuals and families making less than $250,000 per year (such as me and probably you). Of course, the dems want to only extend the tax cuts for families making less than $250K, while the repubs (along with me, most Independents and a majority of the country) want to extend the tax cuts for everyone since raising anyone's taxes during bad economic times is economically moronic (as even a majority of left-wing economists will tell you).
So, the dems after November 2, still clinging to their House and Senate majorities during the lame-duck session, are going to try to jam through an extension of the cuts for the "less than $250K" folks only and will likely refuse to agree to the repubs' desire to extend the cuts for everyone. Thus, repubs will be in the position of either (1) blocking the dem measure such that the cuts will be extended for no one or (2) swallowing their pride and principles and permitting the dems to ram through their legislation so that at least the tax cuts are extended for the "less than 250K" folks.
And it would seem to me that Option # 2 will be the only real option for repubs. Option # 1 -- which would effectively end the tax cuts for everyone -- would be absolutely politically disastrous for republicans and I can't believe that they would even seriously consider it, since it would allow the democrat party to spout (largely disingenuously, of course) that "the republicans raised taxes on the middle class because they couldn't agree to keep your taxes the same unless taxes also stayed the same for all the millionaires and billionaires of the country -- at the end of the day, those are the only people that the republicans care about."
Nope, I can't see any way that the republicans get around permitting the dems to foist through a measure that extends cuts for only the "less than 250K" people. The best they will be able to do is to try to offer amendments right and left in the House and Senate that would extend the cuts for everyone (none of which will succeed) and then make it very clear in the media that the dems absolutely have the repubs' hands tied on this issue. Filibustering the measure entirely, such that the tax cuts expire for everyone, simply does not seem to be a viable political option. If any of the readers see a different way that this might play out, I'd be fascinated to hear about it.