You might think that the only thing Karl Rove and Barack Obama agree on is that gravity exists. But yesterday, Rove agreed with the White House that it’s time for Republicans in the House to cut their losses and pass the Senate's two-month extension on the payroll tax cut before they go home for the holidays. The Senate has already gone home, which means the House can't strike up a new deal: It can either vote on the extension or let the tax cuts expire. Rove told Fox News on Wednesday that Republicans "have lost the optics on it” and “the question now is how do the Republicans get out of it."
"Use [the showdown]] for political theater, vote to pass the two-month extension, and get out of town," Rove said.
It isn’t actually that surprising that Rove supports passing the Senate’s version of the payroll tax cut bill, which failed in the House on Tuesday. It's a no-brainer, and if the Tea Party Republicans were thinking electorally, they would have voted for it. No voter is going to be upset about getting a bigger paycheck, and isn't the Tea Party supposed to support tax cuts?
The argument that the Tea Party's refusal to cave is all about angling Rep. Eric Cantor in to be House Speaker, as the Prospect's Jamelle Bouie explained yesterday, also doesn't make sense at this point—it's too late to pull political manuevers successfully. The only option is to follow the advice of Obama and Rove and have a happy holidays.