South Dakota Senator and potential presidential candidate John Thune suggested Wednesday that his fellow conservative heavyweights Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Sarah Palin shouldn't expect to be able to craft better tax cut bargain for the GOP considering the current makeup of Congress and the White House.
DeMint and Palin have both announced their opposition to the current deal as drawn out by Obama this week, because they believe the minimal increases to the estate tax and the two-year extension of tax cuts for the wealthy are not sufficient concessions to justify the reauthorization of unemployment benefits for 13 months.
Asked about their opposition on Fox News Wednesday night, Thune said he understood their apprehension, but that they should accept the current structure of the plan because it's as good as they're going to get.
"I would prefer if we could get a permanent extension of this for all taxpayers, but right now, that Democrats have 58 votes in the Senate and about 260 votes in the Senate [House], and they have a Democrat White House. That's not likely to happen," Thune told Sean Hannity. "And so I hope what we can do is at least get this two-year fix into place, and we'll have an opportunity when we get some reinforcements in January to start looking at tax policy on a longer term basis."
While Democrats have been grumbling about Obama's failure to map out a tax plan that more accurately represents the nature of his past rhetoric, other Republicans such as Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and failed Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell have joined the conservative cause of trying to pressure the GOP to push for additional incentives.