Via TPM Media, it sounds like Senate Democrats have decided to adjourn without taking a vote on extension of the Bush tax cuts, in part or in whole. A TPM reader counts the ways this will play badly:
Obviously, they'll have handed the Republicans a gift for the fall elections -- a message that "Democrats failed to do anything to prevent the coming tax increases, but we will!" ... But it gets worse than that, because without ending on the tax cut vote, which win or lose is an electoral winner for Democrats, the final note of this Congress is going to be the failure to pass the defense authorization with DADT repeal and the DREAM Act attached. And that cuts both ways. ... the LGBT community is left mad and dispirited. But more important for the midterms, independents are now left with an image (fostered by the media) that the Democrats imperiled funding our troops because they kowtowed to "special interests" (gays, immigrants) with these amendments.
Yup, sounds about right to me.
The silver lining here is that letting the tax cuts expire helps the budget picture significantly. But we really could use a temporary tax break for lower- and middle-income Americans, just to boost the recovery. Maybe we'll get one in the lame duck session...