The reality of this situation is that Obama put the GOP in a corner surrounded by bear-traps, placed mostly by their own hands since Congress sculpted the fiscal cliff.
Boehner has no good positions, and it doesn’t even matter if a deal is negotiated pre- or post-cliff. He’s hoping a Parliamentary trick of voting “present” will stay an accountability moment and that the Democrats will have to go it alone like with Obamacare, and then cry that it was jammed down their throats (always with the sexual imagery with those people).
There’s zero chance of anything favorable to Obama passing the House, so basically we go over the cliff. If so, we negotiate on our terms and not the false-equivalency of tax revenue and entitlement cuts dictated by the cliff.
Any GOPer who breaks from heterodoxy on taxes – NOT ONE DIME – faces a primary from the far-right teabaggers and the Conservative Entertainment Complex.
As Jim Carville would say, “when you ‘re opponent is drowning throw the fucker an anvil”. Let the craziest supply-siding, dinosaur-riding-Jesus-believing, rape-baby-loving wingnuts primary the relatively-sane incumbent GOPers and count the pickup seats for Democrats.