Budgetary Maneuvers

Exit question via Dan Foster: Would this budget deal have been this bad if Meadows and the Freedom Caucus hadn’t pushed Boehner out? The reason it’s two years instead of one and concedes so much to the Democrats is chiefly because Boehner no longer has any fear of reprisals from the right. He made a bad long-term deal in order to take this topic off the table for his protege, Ryan, when he replaces him as Speaker.
I think I'd like to know what the goals are for the maneuvers. I assume TEA Party advocates don't have a veto-proof majority on this issue either. There are two possible things that you could be after, then:

1) A better compromise on the budgetary concerns,

2) Losing the budget fight while winning a political "optics" fight.

There is little reason to compromise for either side of the fight. The President's minority party in Congress can rely on his veto to back them up. The majority party might be willing to compromise, but the TEA Party element of the right-wing coalition has drawn strength from driving out people who compromise. They're shifting the party rightwards just by winning conflicts like this one.

It sounds like (2) is what is going on, then: let Ryan vote against the deal, but let the deal pass, thus allowing him to assume the Speakership without being tainted by having compromised on the budget. It will, as they say, remove the issue for a couple of years -- an important couple of years, within the context of the 2016 elections. Voters hate government shutdowns, and tend to blame Republicans for them, so that makes some sense.

It does have the advantage of opening room for Paul Ryan to claim to be on the side of the TEA Party wing. For the TEA Party to have claimed the Speakership of the House -- symbolically if not actually -- is a major advance for a party that only got started in 2010, and which is not even officially independent. If Ryan elects to go along with them, it will raise their credibility in the eyes of ordinary voters who may not understand what is and is not symbolic. The budget gets settled ugly, but that is likely to happen anyway.


Anonymous said...

"2) Losing the budget fight while winning a political "optics" fight."

*Sigh* Anybody who thinks this plays well with nominal Democratic voters, who are absolutely necessary to keep both Houses of Congress and win the Presidency, is mistaken.

The better strategy is to act very reasonably, broadcast your reasonable, acceptable proposals, and once in a while acknowledge that the other side has a point.

Yeah. American voters like RINOs.

And, calling every single prominent Republican a RINO is getting very, very old.


Ymar Sakar said...

Voters blame the person the Left tells them to blame, nothing less and nothing more.

Ymar Sakar said...

Valerie, that's a very obsolete term. New term is cuckservative. Different "optics" so to speak.

Grim said...

I assume your comment is made with the understanding that budgets of this sort can't be sustained. The pressure to address spending is only going to grow as we get deeper into the Boomers' aging years.

The TEA Party is ultimately right about that, as about other things. You can kick the can down the road two years for now, in the recognition that you can't really solve any problems until 2017 at the earliest. But you can't accept a permanent strategy of 'being reasonable' if 'being reasonable' means 'supporting big spending Federal governments indefinitely.' The earlier we get that problem under control, the less severe the sacrifices will have to be.

Ymar Sakar said...

Totalitarian systems require "sacrifices". The less there is, the less the rich and poor support socialist revolutions and death squads. Although the Left has a trick and answer up their sleeve for even that.

Efficiency, as people have noticed, is not the point.