Rep. John Boehner is already tasting the fruits of fame-criticism.

Maybe I’m losing my nerve, but I still don’t believe Boehner erred in saying that, if it was his only choice, he’d vote yes to a bill extending the Bush tax cuts only on the middle-class but not “thewealthiestAmericans,” as the president calls them.

The Wall Street Journal disagrees:

Democrats are on the run on the economy, struggling to justify raising taxes on small businesses and investors in the face of a faltering recovery and 9.6% unemployment. More than a dozen have already broken with Mr. Obama’s demand that the Bush-era tax rates continue only for those Americans making less than $250,000. They’re pushing to maintain the 2001-2003 tax rates on small-business profits, dividends, capital gains and higher-income earners. The possibility of a pre-election bipartisan stampede to extend the tax rates at least to 2013 has been building for weeks.  

Or at least it was until Mr. Boehner rode to the President’s rescue on Sunday, with a pre-emptive bow to Mr. Obama’s tax increase strategy. “If the only option I have is to vote for those at 250 and below, of course I’m going to do that,” Mr. Boehner told CBS’s “Face the Nation.” The Republican immediately added that he’d “fight to make sure that we extend the current tax rates for all Americans,” but by then the damage was done.

I still think it was good to avoid the class warfare gambit-which Boehner does by this pronouncement-and then fight for extending the tax cuts to all. This is still a battle that Boehner can win. But why not defang the opposition and then fight for an across-the-board extension?

People are beginning to realize that putting people back to work trumps class warfare, and the only way to get more jobs is to get “thewealthiestAmericans” invest. They are less likely to do this if their taxes are going up.