Over at AoSHq, Ace puts up a short but good post about the budget battle between the GOP and Democrats (who paint every action by Republicans as either taking the food right out of little Suzie’s mouth or the prune juice out of Grandma’s cabinet). I especially sympathize with this:
“…I am tired of the Tomorrow, Tomorrow, Manana, Manana non-plan plan for reducing spending. We cannot be told always that big changes are coming in the future. That’s how we got here — we just kept permitting these problems to grow worse as we talked always about future changes.”
I’m there too, and his frustrations are echoed today by our own Region Rat in his post, “Why on Earth is the GOP Losing the Budget Battle.”
The frustration is understandable and at first glance, the wobbling back and forth by the Republicans doesn’t seem to bode well when we think about the tide that swept in a majority to the House and increased their numbers in the Senate. Combine November’s coup against the Democratic controlled 111th Congress with a majority of Americans who are now in the acceptance stage of a government shutdown and, you have to wonder why there should be a compromise now.
I’d like to think there’s a good answer. I would like to think that the GOP has gotten all James T. and rigged the Kobayashi Maru. That is, maybe they are turning the no-win scenario they were handed when the Democrats refused to pass a budget last year into a mark in the win column. I would like to think that the GOP has realized this isn’t a game of rock-paper-scissors but a game of chess.
If you look at it this way, the GOP has to know that if it fights for the hard numbers based on H.R. 1, there will be no budget, there will be a government shutdown, and we will be having this same debate for another month, two, maybe more. And during that prolonged debate, Dems will continue to accuse the GOP of trying to euthanize the neediest among us because, God knows, only government money feeds children. So, to accept a compromise now for a portion of the cuts they want, they stop this budget debate. They look reasonable to the voters who pulled the lever in the same direction as the Tea Party but wouldn’t be caught dead standing on a street corner with a “No New Taxes” poster. And, they open the floor to the real debate, which is about how bad government’s addiction to power and control is and not just about the amount of money it spends to get its fix.