Apr 09 2011
Update: Even more liberal gnashing of teeth:
These budget negotiations were a giant win for the Republican Party. President Obama initially cut $40 billion from his own budget proposal — and he got absolutely no credit for that. … The Republicans claimed in February that they wanted $32 billion in cuts from that point on. About a week ago, the president came out an announced that they had given the Republicans another $33 billion in cuts — a billion more than they originally asked for. And still the Republicans wanted more.
Why not? They’re dealing with the world’s worst negotiator, …
Update: If you doubt Boehner did not have a smashing win last night, then go read how demoralized and angry the left is and ask yourself why the left could be whinging so hard if Boehner had not won?
Update: From American Thinker, a good article and a great political cartoon:
Yep, a picture is still worth a thousand words – end update
If you are only fixated on the budget reduction number ($38.5B) that the GOP won over the next 6 months as part of the deal to avert a shutdown, then you probably don’t know the federal government as well as you think. My hat is off to Speaker Boehner – that was one hell of a negotiating feat he pulled off! He wrung more out of Reid and Obama than I ever thought possible. And he exposed how weak a negotiator our young and inexperienced President truly is. Let me explain.
The budget number is pretty good, mainly because it kills programs instead of lowering their budgets for 6 months. so those 6 month numbers expand and grow in the coming years:
The agreement will immediately cut $38.5 billion in federal spending – the largest spending cut in American history in terms of dollars …
The agreement begins to reverse the “stimulus” spending binge that began in 2009 …
The Obama administration has sought increased federal funding for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – money that could be used to hire additional agents to enforce the administration’s agenda on a variety of issues. This increased funding is denied in the agreement.
Obama even admitted in his speech infrastructure projects were being ‘delayed’ (i.e., de-funded in 2011). Once de-funded, they will not be back any time soon. As fox News reports, this is a lot farther than the Democrats said they would be willing to go when this all started.
But that is just some icing on the cake. There never was a big budget win in this, even at the paltry $100 billion the Tea Party wanted. Not when you are talking a $3.8 trillion budget with a $1.6 trillion deficit. As Karl Rove noted, all the discretionary spending and some of the mandatory is now being borrowed. So the money was never the prize.
However, Boehner must have had an incredible stick in those negotiations, because Reid and Obama agreed to put things to vote in the Senate which everyone deemed impossible just last week. That is the truly amazing part of what Boehner pulled off yesterday (back to the original link):
The agreement reached with Senate Democrats guarantees a Senate debate and vote on legislation that would repeal President Obama’s government takeover of health care in its entirety. The House passed such legislation in January as part of the Pledge to America.
The agreement with Senate Democrats guarantees a Senate debate and vote on legislation that would end federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
The last thing Reid or Obama want is a vote in the senate on Obamacare (or Planned Parenthood). But now they are going to have to vote and this is huge. If this happens, and 4 of those 23 red-state Democrats up for reelection in 2012 vote against Obamacare, then the President will have to veto a bipartisan bill that lines up with the overall will of the American voters. What could be better than isolating Obama and Obamacare from the will of the people and Congress heading into 2012?
This is gold. Every vote Boehner gets in the Senate is pure PR gold. It set’s the stage for 2012 and has the potential to destroy the false sense of inevitability the Dems have been trying to create around Obamacare. Harry Reid owns the Senate schedule. He was going to simply shut down debate and ride out these next two years as best he could. Without getting on the Senate schedule you could not even get PR points.
So what did Boehner have to beat the Dems with and get this much out of them? My guess is it was that moronic false choice between Planned Parenthood and paying our troops. As I said in numerous previous posts, only a political moron/novice would set up this false choice (see here for examples). Presidents should never forget, they will be fired before they can harm our brave men and women on the front lines of 3 wars and numerous police actions. There is no doubt here at all, unless you are a clueless and insecure liberal. The Commander-In-Chief had come out and said he would veto troop pay. He was checkmated right then and there.
Kay Baily Hutchinson was on last night and dropped a little noticed bomb shell. She had 80 cosponsors on a Senate bill – yes, I said 80 – to fund the DoD for the next 6 months. When combined with the House offer to do the same, Obama was facing a real mess. No stop gap CR, just a bill to pay the troops. The Dems in the Senate were jumping ship. The worst part? The Obama White House was using its CNN puppets to spread the word it was those very Senate Dems that asked to put troop pay in the shutdown mix. I sort of doubt it, given what Senator Hutchinson claimed. This is a clear sign that a bumbling political operation was getting whacked.
The Congress had decided which path they would take in the ridiculous false choice between Planned Parenthood and our troops. They stood with the troops and against the President. That is the only thing that could explain what we saw yesterday.
I am sure Reid told the President he was boxed in, and but good. The government would shutdown as the Congress passed legislation to remove the troops’ pay from the infighting. So what was left for the President? Make concessions and try to regroup. That is why we got that lame PR speech in the WH about people visiting the Washington Monument last night. All the administration could do was cobble together some PR imagery and pretend it was all their idea.
My guess is the left is going apoplectic about now. They lost the stimulus crap. Obamacare and Planned Parenthood will be up for votes in the Senate. And my guess is NPR and the EPA are still on the chopping block for 2012 – now only a short 6 months from today.
What did the Dems get in all this? Nothing.
Boehner, leading only one third of the government involved in legislation and funding, was able to walk all over the Senate and White House. I think there were more allies in the Senate than people realize. Senators Manchin and Webb come to mind.
At a minimum, the GOP has opportunities to establish a distinct and fiscally sound path for America’s future with respect to the Democrat insanity we have seen for the last 2+ years. And that was the real gold mined from the week of heated negotiations. Amazing.
Update: Ezra Klein at WaPo echoes my sentiments – not surprisingly.
Obama bragged about “making the largest annual spending cut in our history.” Harry Reid joined him, repeatedly calling the cuts “historic.” It fell to Boehner to give a clipped, businesslike statement on the deal. If you were just tuning in, you might’ve thought Boehner had been arguing for moderation, while both Obama and Reid sought to cut deeper. You would never have known that Democrats had spent months resisting these “historic” cuts, warning that they’d cost jobs and slow the recovery.
Boehner, of course, could afford to speak plainly. He’d not just won the negotiation but had proven himself in his first major test as speaker of the House. He managed to get more from the Democrats than anyone had expected, …
There is a reason Boehner quietly and happily walked away while Obama and Reid were busy getting lipstick out for their pigs.
Update: Ed Morrissey asks who won the fight:
This looks less like a victory for either side and more of a five-month truce.
As a warm up to the big fights coming, it was a smashing mission rehearsal. Now to the real battle.