I’m sure that David Broder would be very happy with what happened yesterday. Don’t forget both the “hard left” and the Tea Party don’t like the deal, therefore it must be a good deal!
Personally, I think 80 billion in cuts — that’s what this was, from Obama’s original budget — sucks and that Democrats have to do a better job negotiating/fighting. No more Boehner-as-Tea-Party hostage negotiations. Ezra Klein (via):
The final compromise was $38.5 billion below 2010’s funding levels. That’s $78.5 billion below President Obama’s original budget proposal, which would’ve added $40 billion to 2010’s funding levels, and $6.5 billion below John Boehner’s original counteroffer, which would’ve subtracted $32 billion from 2010’s budget totals. In the end, the real negotiation was not between the Republicans and the Democrats, or even the Republicans and the White House. It was between John Boehner and the conservative wing of his party. And once that became clear, it turned out that Boehner’s original offer wasn’t even in the middle. It was slightly center-left.
But you would’ve never known it from President Obama’s encomium to the agreement. 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.
I’m not regularly in the Obama-is-a-weak-negotiator camp, getting ACA passed and ending DADT means he accomplished more legislatively in two years than Clinton did in eight. I also don’t know enough about Congressional wrangling to know how much falls on the president and how much on the Congress itself. I’m certainly sympathetic to the question “But at what point do members of Congress need to take responsibility for what happens in their chambers?” Also too, I think the White House is smart to protect the “Obama brand” as much as possible and I think that means avoiding the fray to a certain extent.
One way or the other, Broder-friendly bipartisan deals don’t cut it when you’ve got high unemployment and the Republicans’ policies may make it worse. Halfway to idiotic is idiotic, in my book.