July 31, 2011

Wheelin' and Dealin'

Are we seeing this?
The President is apparently dealing directly with McConnell and Boehner bypassing Reid and Pelosi to reach an agreement.  That's how you know his wheeling and dealing are strictly about re-election.  He has something he wants and he can't be bothered to have those demands filtered through intermediaries any longer.  Compromise is not always a bad thing, if there's a benefit to both sides.  The question conservatives have to ask themselves about the debt ceiling deal - if indeed one gets done today - is what exactly did they gain from the deal that's on the table.  

There's been a lot of speculation about what the does and doesn't deal contain.  Now is not the time to determine if the Republicans were looking out for conservative interests and if they were successful in that.  But once the deal is done, look for a lot of second guessing.

Or this?
I don't want to prejudice opinions (my own included) with too much speculation but I do have a quick impression to share.  Personally I think the deal is sounding like a it's lot weaker than Republicans were capable of getting.  If that's the case I'm sure it's not a matter of wrong-headedness but rather a misreading of what cards they were holding in this debate.  Perhaps it was also a lack of fortitude.  Nevertheless, I'll withhold a final opinion until I see what's in the bill.

I've been willing to give the GOP the benefit of the doubt and I've urged Tea Partiers to strike a balance between what's right and what's achievable right now.  The big prize is a victory in 2012 and control over the process going forward.  However the GOP has some obligation in this too - to get as much out of the compromise as possible and not simply cave to President Obama.  That's not compromise it's capitulation, and that, may be a real game changer for 2012.

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