Did Boehner score a big victory, or did he get hornswoggled? Conservative pundits are all over the map on this one.
Jeffrey Lord at the American Spectator looks at the GOP and sees a battle shaping up between Charlie Sheen Republicans and Inchon Republicans.
Rush Limbaugh suspects that the media doth protest too much.
Jimmy Bise thinks we got about the best deal we could hope for, in the short term.
Carl Cameron thinks Boehner won in a walk, while Stacy McCain is extremely skeptical.
Jeff G., to put it mildly, views the Republican victory lap as extraordinarily premature.
I number myself among the skeptics. Boehner probably did all he thought he could do, but as an establishment Republican, what he thinks is possible may well be far short of what was actually possible (not to mention positively necessary). And the overriding fear that certain Republicans, including Boehner, seem to have about the prospects of a temporary government shutdown, and the ramifications for the standing of the GOP in the polls, automatically boxes them in at the negotiating table. I don’t question Boehner’s integrity, or the sincerity of his commitment to reducing the size of government; however, I am withholding judgment on his fitness to lead a fiscal (which entails a philosophical) revolution. He is allowing himself to be nudged forward by the Tea Party, but I don’t see him champing at the bit to lead the charge.
Success in paring back the role and expense of government will require courage and imagination and continuous engagement with the American people – as well as the realization of the fact that our differences with the Democratic leadership and their many allies in the media, the unions and other activist political organizations are no longer just a matter of degree: they represent profoundly antithetical visions of what America is and what it should be.
The most recent political skirmish was about numbers – and not very significant numbers, at that. But the problem is not just about dollars and cents. If Boehner doesn’t wake up to the fact that the fight for fiscal sanity is only part of a much larger struggle over the proper relationship between government and citizen, he is likely to wind up being our Joe Johnston: an updated version of the Confederate general best known for fighting well-planned, brilliantly-managed retreats.
Update!!!! - I guess if I had waited, I could have saved myself the trouble of typing this post. Looks like the question with which I opened it has been answered. We are well and truly Boehnered!
Update II - It all reminds me of an old joke:
Sam: You're the biggest coward I ever saw!
Bill: You say that again and I'll bust your jaw!
Sam: Consider it said again.
Bill: Consider your jaw busted.
Update III - Paco in 2012. Not just a choice; a fashion statement.
(Thanks to Col. Milquetoast. Your check is, er, in the mail)