In an article about the budget "negotiations" (or, would "farce" be a better word?), House Speaker John Boehner (R, OH) was quoted as saying:
We control one-half of one-third of the government. We can't impose our will on the Senate.Two things strike Noman about this. First, Speaker Boehner doesn't realize how strong a hand the electorate dealt him last November. That's a pity. Noman agonizes watching neophytes play poker. It should be President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Reid sweating these negotiations, not Speaker Boehner. Secondly, it's not the majority party in the House of Representatives against the rest of government. It's the shrinking Democratic presence in government, aided by an alarmed media, against the will of people they hoodwinked in 2006 and 2008 by shrieking "George Bush!, Jack Abramoff!, Tom Foley!, Iraq! and Guantanamo!--hate, hate, hate," but who wised up after experiencing the return of tax-and-spend government ON STEROIDS (spend and tax, in this case) in President Obama's first two years.
The fight seems to be winding down to a number around $33 billion in cuts (to a budget with a $1.65 trillion DEFICIT). Conversely, the combatants are gearing up to take on the issues of riders blocking EPA rulemaking, funding for Obamacare, and for Planned Parenthood. All three are liberal sacred cows. Good luck cashing in on this hand, with Boehner afraid to raise with a Kings over Queens full house.
Meanwhile, dependable lefties in the Senate are lamenting any cuts at all to the budget.
While Republicans faced the prospect of an agreement that cut less than they wanted, Democrats grappled with the notion of cutting more. Sen. Patty Murray (D., Wash.), the fourth-ranking Senate Democrat, said she was concerned that the administration gave away too much too quickly. "It's tough," Ms. Murray said of the magnitude of cuts Democrats are preparing to accept. "It's really hard, and not without a whole lot of trepidation."Noman figures that Patty and the Dems (Benny and the Jets?) will just have to be consoled by the $3.8 trillion in outlays that they get to spend, constituting 25.3% of GDP.