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Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that I’ve defended John Boehner’s budget deal. It looks, today, like Boehner played a lot of silly games to get cuts that, while still cuts, won’t perform as advertised. As such, I’m going to have to eat a little bit of crow. I’m not the only one, either. Philip Klein sat down to a plate-full already today.

When I gave my initial positive assessment of the deal, I saw the argument as being about whether Democrats would agree to defunding Planned Parenthood and ObamaCare and defanging the EPA, while achieving $61 billion in spending cuts. I didn’t see Republicans as being able to force all of those changes when they only controlled one chamber of Congress. I thought other conservatives were being unrealistic about the possibility that the GOP would win the public relations battle over a shutdown and get President Obama and Democrats to cave. And I thought it was more important to move the discussion to Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget, which actually addresses the long-term drivers of debt, our entitlements. I still believe all of those things, but as it turns out, I should have been a lot more skeptical about the numbers being thrown around at a point when details were scarce.

Unfortunately, it now appears that the new Republican majority has done what it attacked Democrats for doing when they controlled the House. They negotiated a back room deal, didn’t release the details until 2 a.m., and the more we have of the details, the more we find out that the actual deal is filled with accounting gimmicks. Not a good way to earn back the trust of conservatives who grew disillusioned with the GOP the last time they controlled the House.

Okay, so maybe it’ll be more than a little crow.

That said, I still can’t say the people who vociferously opposed the deal early Saturday morning were right. Their reasons are as wrong today as they were then. There was (and there still is, by the way) no way in the world that the House Republicans were going to crowbar better than a halfway deal from President Obama or Harry Reid. That magic $100 billion was never going to happen, the backup $61 billion was a long shot, and defunding Planned Parenthood would never be part of a deal with this President. Further, the GOP could not have won the public opinion war had the government shut down for more than a couple days. Those in the “shut it down and let God sort it out” camp still can’t give me a plan that would have gotten us from a government shutdown to anything resembling sufficient forward momentum to get the far more important Ryan budget plan through both Congress and the President. Until they do, I can’t take them very seriously.

However, that does mean that John Boehner is going to have to work much harder to get any atta-boys from me next time. Not only am I going to need him to show all his work next time, but I’m going to need him to drive a far harder bargain than I’m sure he wants to drive. It’s only fair, though. He snookered me and I’m not in a particularly forgiving mood.

Oh, and I’m going to need a couple aspirin for the headache I got from that double facepalm. Thanks a pantload, John Boehner.

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One Response to “My Partial Mea Culpa on the Budget Deal”

  1. Eating Crow About Sprinklerman : The Other McCain says:

    [...] addthis_config={"data_track_clickback":true,"ui_language":"en"};by SmittyIndeed, Boehner’s great big little cuts seem hardly a cause for capillary bleeding. The anti-Boehner chorus was a tad too shrill, in my [...]

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