Andrew McCarthy, the party crasher:

With due respect, I think those who are praising the budget deal are deluding themselves. Under circumstances where we are trillions of dollars in debt, the GOP just caved on its promise to cut the relative pittance of $61 billion in spending because it’s just not worth fighting for more than the half-pittance of $40 billion Democrats claimed was their drop-dead number. “Drop dead” meant daring Republicans to shut the government down (which, as we know, doesn’t actually shut the government down). The Republicans blinked. 

For me, this is no surprise — as I’ve said several times (see, e.g., here and here), I don’t think they’re serious. But I want to make a point about how strange this praise of Boehner & Co. is. A mere four months ago, the big controversy in conservative and Republican circles was whether the GOP had reneged on their vaunted pledge to cut $100B in spending in the current fiscal year because they had seemingly come down to $61B. As I noted at the time, there was no question that, if you looked at the fine print of the pledge, the commitment was $61B — but that if you looked at reality, both $61B and $100B were laughably unserious. No matter. Folks around here pooh-poohed my criticism and insisted that a $61B pledge was a sober first step, showing real fortitude about getting our fiscal house in order.

I’m no McCarthy, but I believe Boehner et al changed the direction of the conversation. When Barry & Harry go on the telly and celebrate the historic nature of cuts when they’ve resisted the ideology of cutting government for time immemorial, that signals a game change.

Insert witty/true comment via DaTechGuy:

As Col Allen West put it this morning: “It takes 5 miles to turn an Aircraft Carrier around but it’s heading in the right direction.”

Yes, we have to re-steel ourselves for the fight ahead because it will be a long and dirty slog. But for the first time in my adult life*, I feel like we are in charge of the narrative rather than the other way around. To affect real change, we’ve got to change the content of the Senate and the White House first. If you consider the landscape two years ago, when the talking yahoos all proclaimed conservatism dead and heralded the descent into socalism as people dreamed of Obama money wafting from the skies, we’ve come a long way.

*My respects to Michelle.

UPDATE: Hot of the reader feed, Who won the budget fight at Hot Air. Ed Morrissey notes:

We’ll see who won in September, but Republicans have achieved one major accomplishment.  Not only did they force the first actual reductions in government spending in ages, but they have changed the political paradigm from whether to cut to how much and where to cut.  That’s a pretty impressive victory for a party that only controls one chamber of Congress

One last point along these lines.  Democrats have spent the last four months arguing that Republicans were too radical to govern and wanted to destroy government.  Instead, Republicans fashioned a deal on their own terms and passed a budget deal — something Democrats couldn’t or wouldn’t do when they had all the power in DC.  This gives the GOP a lot of credibility on leadership and governance, and all of it at the expense of Harry Reid and Barack Obama.

Related: Obama, weeping on the inside, celebrates budget cuts

UPDATE: A Pundit & Pundette Featured Blog AND a Recommended Read! Thanks!


4 Responses

  1. I’ve seen several conservatives depore the deal. I think the deal was fantastic. I think Boehner was brilliant. It was a total victory! I’ve never seen such a lopsided victory on a budget fight.

  2. It’s heartening to read a positive take from folks like you and Da Tech Guy. The right blogosphere can get a bit severe in the doom and gloom and “it’s not enough” type thinking.

    I mean, it isn’t enough. We all know that. But there is always a positive aspect to point out. Thanks for doing that.

    A question related to an earlier post: you got an email that said you were getting 1/2 a paycheck? I’m confused. Were they warning Army folks that they would only get 1/2 what they usually get, or assuring them they would get paid as normal (which is 1/2 the month’s pay)?

    I got no such notification from the Navy, BTW.

    Hope you have a great weekend. Congrats on that McCain link!


    • A step in the right direction is a step.
      Re pay: No, we were forewarned that we would get HALF of a paycheck–half of the normal mid-month pay. The directive stated that they would’ve only been paid through this week’s end, so next week starting Monday would have been zero, zilch, nada. That was the concern. We could weather that. Young E-3s? Probably not as much.

      I’m not surprised you didn’t get anything–ours didn’t come down the pike until late afternoon.

    • And thanks–it’s sunny and beautiful out. Though we’re expecting snow tonight lol. Hope you have a good one, too.

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