Thursday, April 7, 2011

Well Played

Speaker Boehner has taken an important step to insulate Republicans from criticism over a potential government shut down by passing another stop gap spending measure. By immediately announcing that he would veto the measure, the President is signalling that he is the one who actually wants to shut down the government. In fact, if the Senate does not act or the President vetoes the spending measure, then the Democrats will actually be responsible for the shut down. Further, since the stopgap measure only includes $12 billion in cuts, they can hardly claim that the cuts are draconian.

I anticipate that if polling on this question gets started soon, the Democrats are going to find themselves in a world of hurt over this issue. It started with their failure to pass a budget last year, when they held a huge majority in both Houses. Now, they are unwilling to accept that the Republicans were sent to Washington to reduce deficits, primarily by cutting spending. To paraphrase Obama from a previous discussion, "The election's over, we won." The narrative doesn't play well recently, either. Joe Biden left town when he was supposed to be negoitating for the President. The President's budget was laughed out of town when it was presented. Up until this point he has shown his usual leadership skills in solving the problem. Threatening a veto makes him look like a petulant child. Even labor negotiations often drag on with interim agreements, giving both sides time to work things out. But the President has put his own political standing ahead of the good of the country. He has made a mistake on two counts, thinking the country won't notice and thinking that it will enhance his standing.



  1. the dems didn't pass a budget when they were supposed to.

    i would say that would put them directly responsible for this mess.