Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Assortment (Special Federal Budget Edition)

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)


Col. Milquetoast said...

Fedoras, zeppelins, and spending cuts : Paco for President!

SwampWoman said...

A man that blubbers at every opportunity just does not have the requisite toughness necessary for dealing with hysterical Democrats.

richard mcenroe said...

I'm increasingly of the opinion that Boehner was more interested in fighting us than Obama. That deal is proving to be more bogus with every revelation. He needs to be primaried in '12.

I think he's still suffering PTSD from being yelled at in 1995.

RebeccaH said...

I have to part with the conventional wisdom here and state that I see Boehner as the Stealth Pacman. Sticking up for a rigid principle and shutting down government at this point would have put the Republican Momentum at a disadvantage IMO (Remembering the previous 1995 shutdown and the beating the Republicans took then), even though yes, it would also have hurt the Democrats this time.

Let's face it: the deep-down basic problem here is the chimerical mood of our public, confused as it is by all the contradictory sources of information (first and foremost the legacy media). IMO Boehner took the path that led to the least pain for the public, right now. Don't be misled by all those frantic calls for shared sacrifice and cuts now. Almost all of us agree cuts must be made, and sacrifice must be made, and the shared pain must be felt, but nobody wants it to fall on them all at once.

We didn't get into this mess in just a couple of years. It's been building for decades, and, hard as it is to accept, it's going to take us decades (or merely years, if we're lucky and sufficiently dedicated) to get out of it.

So my advice, take it for what it's worth, is stop stomping on Boehner and his ilk. He may be a Washington Insider, but he knows how things work, and he rightly assesses the public will (which he well knows includes his political future), and he will do what he can do to serve that, if nothing else.

Disclaimer: I am not particularly fond of Boehner, but I can recognize useful guard dogs.

Paquismo si, Obama no!

Yojimbo said...

Just some added background for reference purposes. Rush indicated that he has played golf with Boehner and rates him as very sincere, also a nice guy. It was also very clear that Boehner is haunted by the ghosts of '95 and doesn't want a repeat of that. Well worh remembering as we wend our way into the looking glass that is the debt ceiling issue.

I agree with Richard on the bogusness(?) of the agreement. Seems that a good chunk of that money was nothing more than unspent funds. They did manage to take a bite out of the EPA which is alwayd good. Any agency that has the time, money and manpower to look around and start regulating things like spilt milk has way too much of everything. They could have slammed $38 billion out of them and started the regular negotiations.

Paco said...

I don't get why Boehner would be haunted by '95. True, the Republicans generally got blamed for shutting down the government. And the election results in '96? The Republicans lost some seats in the House, but retained control, and picked up two Senate seats. Hardly a bloodbath, and if that's the kind of thing that throws terror into the hearts of the Republican leadership, then I'm hard-pressed to see how they're going to tackle something like entitlement reform.

At this stage, I'm not trusting anybody's knowledge of the "inside baseball" of Washington politics. If the stories are true, and the cuts are almost entirely bogus, then the whole thing was a lie - I'm not cutting any slack for politicos who participated in a charade for "our own good." If it sounds like I'm getting increasingly eager for confrontation, that's exactly right. If the majority consists of socialists and nincompoops, I'd rather find it out sooner than later.

Minicapt said...

It depends on whether Mr Boehner is working on Step #3 of his plan, in which the fiscal excitement is Step#1. I have seen no indication that either the Senate Maj Leader or the President is capable of thinking through the next step, much less the 'future'.

The Dems may crow about pulling a fast one this time, but we don't know what the Speaker may have planned for the real budget discussion, which I must point out, has yet to begin.

Were I the Speaker, there would be no news on Steps #2 and so on until I decide to release it. The thought of any resultant unhappiness in the press corps would force me to sleep more deeply at night. In turn, I would begging the Dems, repeatedly, to join in saving the economy, to participate in the 'trimming of the inessentials' until one could wield the feller's axe with glee.

RebeccaH is correct, there are more shoes to drop.


Paco said...

Ah, but who will be dropping them?

Yojimbo said...

The Shadow knows but I haven't checked my email today. Sorry about that.

Yojimbo said...

I just checked my email and it said that there is a growing sentiment to kick the debt ceiling can down the road.

Yojimbo said...

"Unpaid for tax cuts" All hail central planning.

His most radical speech yet. Guess who Obama thinks won the government shutdown debate.