Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform, assesses the new tax deal between President Obama and congressional Republicans in a column posted at Human Events:

The deal is interesting and important.  More interesting, and certainly more important, is what we learn about how aggressive each team will be in engaging over the next two years, how strong they think they are, how they read the mandate of the 2010 elections, whether Obama becomes Clinton and ?triangulates? away from his somewhat reduced left wing base in Congress.

The first thing to note is that the ?deal? is a truce, not a peace treaty. Every part of the ?deal? lasts exactly two years. All the moving parts of the ?deal? will be front and center in the 2012 election. Nothing has been solved.  Every conflict of vision, of policy, of ideology, has been deferred.  Two years.

So who won? Who lost? Who?s the toughest kid on the block? And what does this tell us about the future?

Republicans wanted all the lower tax rates made permanent. They only got two years. The death tax at 35 percent is a big step forward from the threatened 55 percent and is the ?new normal? from which all new negotiations begin. The social security rate cut is a cut in marginal tax rates that will reduce the tax wedge on new hires.  The additional spending on unemployment is a hike in spending, but one the Republicans might well have conceded later without ?getting anything for it.?

Obama and the Democrats gave up more than most understand and unnecessarily and inexplicably put themselves in a substantially weaker strategic position in 2012.

Last year, Norquist offered an interesting assessment of the political scene in the wake of Obama’s big 2008 presidential win.