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And Now For the Republican Freakout

By Steve Kornacki, Salon - December 19, 2012

Yesterday began with President Obama's base grappling with how to interpret the new concessions he'd offered House Speaker John Boehner in their fiscal cliff negotiations.

There was -- and is -- serious question over the left's willingness to abide the framework Obama proposed. After demanding that tax rates be restored to their Clinton-era levels on income over $250,000, the president is now willing to accept a $400,000 threshold. He's also willing to let the payroll tax holiday expire "“ at a cost of $1,000 a year to the average family "“ and to agree to a modified form of chained-CPI, a less generous method for calculating Social Security benefit payouts. Measured against what would happen if there's no deal at all before January 1, there's good reason for liberals to wonder if Obama is giving away too much in pursuit of a bipartisan accord. There are conflicting signals from leading Democrats about whether the party would go along with this plan.

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