President Obama has brokered a deal between the Democratic-run Senate and the Republican-run House that avoids a shutdown of the federal government, while also stripping the bill of issues such as Planned Parenthood funding and decisions about the EPA’s authority.
Yet somehow, I’m seeing from some – particularly Ezra Klein, who should honestly know better – that this was a bad deal for the President.
On policy, of course these budget cuts targeted at programs that assist the poor and middle class suck. But they were always going to suck. The minute the House of Representatives flipped from Democratic to Republican, anyone without giant stores of money had a target at their back. The Republicans negotiated their way to a $39 billion cut.
But let us remember that these are the same Republicans who campaigned on cutting $100 billion from the budget. Just a couple months ago, conservative blogs were despairing that the cuts had been sliced down to $78 billion.
And John Boehner, wily trickster that he is, has made an agreement – which probably does not have the support of his caucus, possibly needing Democratic help – that cuts that ransom demand in half. I can only imagine that being described as a victory for Boehner at a Beltway party and nowhere else outside of the 495 loop.
What did the polls show that Democrats and Independents wanted out of these negotiations? A compromise that kept the doors open on our government. And that’s what we got. Faced with a fundamentally flawed budget process thanks to the outcome of the November elections, President Obama presided over a bipartisan result that avoided the attempt to scuttle women’s health issues and environmental concerns. From a political perspective, he will have signed into law a cut in spending the year before his re-election as the unemployment rate decreases.
It was enough to prompt Tea Party Nation to claim they will primary Boehner, while base conservatives on the depraved Free Republic gnashed their teeth and made the following statements: “GOP sells out all GOP sucker voters!,” “Cowards, more interested in keeping their jobs then doing what’s right for the country.,” and “The GOP are the modern day Whigs.”
This sentiment goes on for quite a few pages.
This was a negotiating process in which voices of the far right such as Allan West and Michele Bachmann advised retreat for the GOP.
Obama and Reid were operating in an environment infected by the Tea Party House, and secured a deal that averted shutdown and showed the President to be the adult here. Yet a few people seem to think this is the kind of thing that is good news for the right.
As a failed vice-presidential candidate once asked: In what respect, Charlie?