• With: Scott Walker, Joe Rago, Mary Kissel, James Freeman, Bret Stephens

    STEPHENS: Oh, yes.

    FREEMAN: I mean, he's fine with it. Probably prefers it, right?

    STEPHENS: I think the one thing he has campaigned on is taxes rising on the rich. This is an emotional issue for the president. This is something he clearly cares about. He was deeply stung by the tax deal that he agreed, the extension in 2010. Not only sung by his own left wing base, but I think he was almost ashamed of that deal. I think you're mistaken, if you think this is the kind of leverage that Republicans --

    (CROSSTALK)

    GIGOT: Briefly, James.

    FREEMAN: OK.

    Let's say he refuses to deal as he has been. You still get at least a beginning toward fiscal sanity. You get cuts in overall federal spending and that's good for the economy.

    GIGOT: All right. Well, viewers, you're seeing this debate here. This is what the Republicans are talking about on Capitol Hill, too.

    We have to take one more break. When we come back, "Hits and Misses"

    of the week.

    (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

    GIGOT: Time now for "Hits and Misses" of the week.

    Mary, first to you.

    KISSEL; Paul, I'm giving a hit this week to President Obama for an unusually strong defense of human rights that he gave at a speech at a university in Burma. Instead of speaking directly to the regime, as many presidents often do, he spoke over the regime and to the people of Burma, to aspirations for freedom and for democracy. Now, Mr. President, I think it's time to give that speech to the people of Russia and China.

    GIGOT: All right, Mary.

    Joe?

    RAGO: Paul, this is a big hit and congratulations to Chief Justice John Roberts and Lena Dunham, both of whom made the Atlantic list of Great Thinkers 2012, and Esquire's Americans of the Year. Miss Dunham is celebrated for reinventing the romantic comedy with her HBO program "Girls," while Chief Justice Roberts is celebrated for reinventing the taxing power to save the Affordable Care Act. Call it strange new respect for conservatives who endorse liberal priorities. I just hope the chief justice is enjoying his new intellectual company.

    GIGOT: All right, Joe.

    Bret?

    STEPHENS: This is a hit for Ron Paul. Thank you finally for retiring. There's been a question of Ron Paul. Was he the great man of principle or was he just a somewhat strange character with often, some might say, bigoted views. Recently, he's come out talking about the virtues of secession. Those of us who always thought Ron Paul was a crank find ourselves confirmed.

    GIGOT: All right.

    And remember, if you have your own "Hit or Miss," please send it to us at jer@FOXnews.com. And follow us on Twitter at JERonFNC.

    That's it for this week's edition of the "Journal Editorial Report."Thanks to my panel and to all of you for watching. I'm Paul Gigot. Hope to see you right here next week.

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