This was a momentous moment when you got the appropriators -- it's often been said by John McCain that there are three parties in Congress, Republicans, Democrats, and appropriators, who are aligned to themselves (ph). They lost.
AMANPOUR: Was it momentous or did the Republicans have to back down? Would they have wanted those earmarks to go through? In fact, many Democrats want the earmarks. Senator Harry Reid says it's our right.
BRAZILE: Well, the truth is, is that under the Republican leadership, back in the last eight years -- I got to start watching Saturday night football -- but under the Republican leadership, we saw the deficit grow.
And finally the Republicans are now having to read the script that the Tea Party has written for them. The truth is, is that the Republicans, as well as the Democrats, will have to get very tough on spending. It's going to be very difficult, when three-fifths of the budget is already appropriated: the military, 20 percent; Social Security, 20 percent; 21 percent of the budget is for Medicare, Medicaid, the children's health program; and then you have 14 percent left for an array of programs.
The president will have to make tough choices, but the Republicans finally will have to come to the table and do the right thing and try and get spending under control, but it's just not a spending problem. We also have a revenue problem.
AMANPOUR: So what happens with the notion of bipartisanship? People can point to any number of this legislation that's gone on in this lame duck. Some show bipartisanship; some don't. What does this say going forward for the -- for the new Congress?
FREELAND: I think it's going to be more partisan and more inflamed than ever before. I think that one of the analyses that we saw after the tax deal was, "Oh, hurrah, this might be the beginning of a new era of bipartisanship."
But the tax deal was easy. I think of it as the Santa Claus deal. It's really easy to cut everybody's taxes and then have more money for poor people. Everybody's happy.
The rubber hits the road in 2011, because that's going to be about cutting things that people want, and that will be really difficult. And as Donna says, like a serious -- seriously attacking the deficit is going to mean looking forward to also increasing taxes. Someone's got to pay the...
BRAZILE: But we were not all happy with the tax cuts.
WILL: But there will be some bipartisanship in the sense that -- what do you have, 23 Democratic seats up in the Senate this time around?
BRAZILE: Yes, 22.
WILL: Some of them who came in six years before '12 in 2006, which was an usually good year for Democrats, and they're in some marginal seats. Therefore, you're going to see some of them crossing the aisle to support the Republicans on spending cuts.
CHANDRASEKARAN: But it generally I think will play better for the president as he stands up to these -- these efforts to -- to really, you know, attack spending over the course of -- of the spring. You know, I think -- I think when this comes down to a confrontation, he's in a much better position.
AMANPOUR: Just want to put up this -- as we talk about this, this cartoon from the Economist. Basically, a large elephant is seen choking President Obama and the heading reads "Republicans will make conciliatory gestures, you know, hand around the neck."