The government shutdown was averted. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. I, like many others, predicted Boehner would waffle and cave long ago. If he were a poker player, he’d lose his shirt. He showed his hand to Obama by going public with his assertion that the shutdown had to be avoided because it would be so detrimental. So Obama knew Boehner wouldn’t stick to his guns and we see the results.
Now, depending on your news source, this will be played as a victory by all sides. Obama wanted zero cuts. The democrats wanted $33 billion. The GOP wanted $61 billion. The Tea Party wanted the promised $100 billion. What did we get? No cuts at all, just $38.5 billion less deficit spending. But you’ll only hear political speak from the media declaring these as cuts. Sorry, but when you still run a $1.5 trillion dollar deficit, you didn’t cut a penny, you only reduced the additional debt load.
The GOP also caved on all of the riders that mattered. The only ones still attached of any significance will be shot down when the Senate votes next week. This is the political cover necessary for all sides to claim victory where there is none. You’ve been punk’d. Suckered.
Now the path is clear as to what lies ahead. More defeats on an even greater scale with the debt limit and 2012 budget battles upcoming. Clearly and indisputably, we are in for Washington per usual. No serious effort to control spending. Only posturing from both sides of the aisle to position themselves for the 2012 election.
The usual suspects will be out in force declaring victory for their sides. Huckabee was on Fox this morning declaring an impressive victory for Boehner. Huckabee believes in governing as in compromise. He thinks Boehner got the best deal he could get. He is used to having to deal with the majority on the other side and getting what he can to get things done. In normal times, I’ll give him that. These aren’t normal times. The financial and economic stress this nation faces is unprecedented. We’ve had prior run-ins with portions of our economic woes, but never had we had them all coming together at once as they are now. We can’t accept yeoman efforts and the best bi-partisan compromise deals we can generate.
That’s why people like Michele Bachman and Rand Paul were not at all satisfied with the deal. They understand the gravity of what is before us much clearer than so many others. They know that token efforts and gamesmanship like calling less deficit spending a cut will only lead to disaster.
BTW – remember that we only officially got another CR extension. This budget compromise is now being written and we now must go through a several day waiting process. Anything can still happen to derail it before it clears both Chambers and gets signed by the President. We’ll see if it survives until the end of next week in the form that was agreed to last night.