Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's decision to hire Jesse Benton as his campaign manager already is paying off. Benton's Tea Party bona fides could not be stronger, as a former campaign manager of the Pauls.
To those Tea Party patriots who are displeased with McConnell's role in negotiating the compromise to the Fiscal Cliff, Benton reassures. For some, the deal McConnell struck looks suspect because it does raise taxes on couples above $450k without really generating much revenue -- and without immediate cuts.
This tax increase, indeed, any tax increase, exposes McConnell on his right flank. That's why Benton's explanation of the strategy behind the deal is so important, particularly with respect the bifurcated approach to making tax rates permanent so that this issue will be off the table when the negotiating turns to the debt limit: