The two fights—one over funding the government for the next six months, the other over a sweeping plan to reshape the government for decades to come—showed how far apart the two parties are on basic fiscal issues ahead of the 2012 elections.Noman would have written that paragraph differently to highlight how far Democrats are from the taxpaying voters, who put Republicans back in charge of Congress, just four years after throwing them out, in order to stop the President's runaway freight train before it ran off a cliff.
Noman thinks that the following fact is worth stressing:
The collision of the two budget debates is happening because Congress last year failed to pass a spending plan for 2011, and the government is being funded by short-term measures. Discussion of the 2012 budget is now in full swing.
That is to say, Nancy Pelosi's House, in order to avoid operating in the full light of day before the 2010 elections, opted to fund the 2011 budget by periodically negotiating temporary spending bills like the one set to expire this Friday. Democrats opted for brinksmanship rather than honesty, because they lacked the courage to be honest about their spending plans, and because they knew that the media would blame any eventual "government shutdown" on mean and stupid Republicans, and tea party "extremists." The only extremism Noman sees, however, is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's who said, "We have been willing to do what is fair in ratcheting down very, very hard on domestic spending...We can't go any more." Get off it, Harry. What's a few billion dollars more in a budget with a $1.65 trillion dollar DEFICIT? It's not as if Democrat's troughs aren't sufficiently larded.
Meanwhile, in the I've-Got-More-Chutzpah-Than-Bill-Clinton category, President Obama said to Republicans, "Getting your way is not how it works." He must have meant to add "for you," because that's certainly the way it works for him. Had it not been so, we wouldn't be facing the deficits we face and the need to raise the debt ceiling yet again.
"At a time when you are struggling to pay your bills and meet your responsibilities, the least we can do to meet our responsibilities is produce a budget. That is not too much to ask for. That is what the American people expect of us, that's what they deserve. You want everybody to act like adults, quit playing games and realize it is not my way or the highway," President Obama said in Pennsylvania before he is set to hold a fundraiser tonight.So, why didn't the President produce a budget when his party controlled both houses of Congress by bullet-proof majorities? Who does he think he's kidding?
President Obama is such a good act...er, speaker, that Noman can't decide if the President's portrayal of himself as a man above the sordid politics of DC who is willing to compromise in order to do the people's will is a conscious self delusion, or a conscious fabrication. While Noman is trying to figure it out, he'll continue to give more credence to what the President does rather than to what he says, and advises all onlookers to do the same.