So, Paul Krugman has officially kicked off Obama Part Deux with a very smart and sensible - as usual - editorial:
[Republicans are] threatening to block any deal on anything else unless they get their way. So they are, in effect, threatening to tank the economy unless their demands are met.
Mr. Obama essentially surrendered in the face of similar tactics at the end of 2010, extending low taxes on the rich for two more years. He made significant concessions again in 2011, when Republicans threatened to create financial chaos by refusing to raise the debt ceiling. And the current potential crisis is the legacy of those past concessions.
Well, this has to stop — unless we want hostage-taking, the threat of making the nation ungovernable, to become a standard part of our political process.
So what should he do? Just say no, and go over the cliff if necessary.
It’s worth pointing out that the fiscal cliff isn’t really a cliff. It’s not like the debt-ceiling confrontation, where terrible things might well have happened right away if the deadline had been missed. This time, nothing very bad will happen to the economy if agreement isn’t reached until a few weeks or even a few months into 2013. So there’s time to bargain.
More important, however, is the point that a stalemate would hurt Republican backers, corporate donors in particular, every bit as much as it hurt the rest of the country. As the risk of severe economic damage grew, Republicans would face intense pressure to cut a deal after all.
Of course, if there's any evidence to support the notion that Obama has ever paid attention to anything Krugman has ever had to say on any subject at all, I've never seen it.
Krugman is suggesting that Obama abandon his tried-and-true (from Obama's perspective, anyway) bipartisanship-above-all-else approach to governing in favor of, you know, doing the right thing for the economy and for the 99% of Americans who are going to bear the fiscal brunt of the Grand Bargain.
Of course Krugman is right.
And of course Obama will ignore him.