Are Boehner and the GOP Skirting Disaster?

Snookered.  That's what grassroots conservatives are feeling about the Boehner budget deal.  A backlash is building among the grassroots that hasn't crested yet.  Boehner's less-than-honest budget deal advertising may pass as clever in Washington, but it's not selling across the nation to conservatives.  The Speaker's lack of straight shooting and resolve in meeting the GOP's budget pledge could spell election troubles for Republicans in 2012. 

Speaker Boehner's budget spin smacks of old-think Washington-as-usual politics; the game-playing that so fascinates and dazzles the Inside-the-Beltway crowd infuriates tea parties.  Grassroots conservatives aren't enthralled with the deftness, sophistication, and maneuvering that leads to a budget deal that's more hot air than substance.  And that should worry Boehner and the House Republican leadership.  After all, the GOP's House majority is owed in no small measure to tea party Americans and right-thinking independents.         

Facts have a nasty way of intruding on spin.  The fact is that the $38.5 billion that Speaker Boehner won in his budget compromise is less than what the Speaker advertised.  $100 billion was supposed to be the target (it was the GOP pledge).  But then that figure dropped to a "line-in-the-sand" $61 billion.  Then conservatives learned that the Speaker settled for $38.5 billion to avoid a government shutdown - a shutdown being anathema to squeamish establishment Republicans.       

Then as was learned yesterday, the $38.5 billion in cuts wasn't all new.  The Washington Times reported:

The final 2011 spending deal that Congress released Tuesday bears the fingerprints of Democrats far more than Republicans, whose effort to slash the federal deficit was swamped by President Obama's tenacious defense of spending programs.

Chief among those fingerprints were those of Sen. Charles E. Schumer, the New York Democrat who was the first major player to suggest shifting some cuts from discretionary spending to mandatory spending - a key decision that allowed the total dollar amount of cuts to grow, while not slashing the basic programs Democrats wanted to protect.

 So, which side won the budget negotiation?  It's all very nice that the GOP has changed the terms of the budget debate, as we hear from DC drones, but the GOP needs to win the debate, and that doesn't mean by wringing small spending cuts from a vastly out-of-control budget.  It means dramatic cuts that begin the process of re-charting the federal government's course, much smaller government being the aim.   

But redirecting Uncle Sam in historic ways doesn't seem to be Boehner's goal.  With a fragile economy, baby-stepping government toward fiscal sanity isn't going to make the grade. 

For conservatives, the budget deal has that familiar odor of past GOP efforts to better manage the welfare state than the Democrats who created it.  Conservatives and in-tune independents didn't elect Republicans last November to don green eyeshades, bean count, and tidy up the Feds' books.  Voters gave the GOP its largest gains in U.S. House contests since, at least, the 1940s to not only stop Obama's spending and borrowing madness but to usher in a new era of less government.  The budget deal struck by the Speaker doesn't suggest that he gets the imperative of making a paradigm shift. 

Boehner and the Republicans last chance to redeem themselves will be in the fight - let's suppose that the Speaker will really fight - to comprehensively overhaul the 2012 budget.  And keep this in mind: budget-cutting is not an end in itself; it's a tool to close the era of big government that is now reaching its destructive ends - destructive not only to the economy but, moreover, to liberty. 

As to conservatives' angst, it's not hard to guess what Republican consultants are whispering to the Speaker and other GOP leaders: "No worries.  Where can grassroots conservatives go with their votes and dollars?  Conservative activists and voters will come around."

No grassroots conservatives won't, not if Speaker Boehner fails to lead boldly during the coming 2012 budget brouhaha.  A sleight-of-hand performance by the Speaker will be met with the sound of grassroots conservatives' feet marching toward the exits come the next election.  Who said tea parties and independents won't find candidates other than tweedle dee Democrats and tweedle dum Republicans? 
Snookered.  That's what grassroots conservatives are feeling about the Boehner budget deal.  A backlash is building among the grassroots that hasn't crested yet.  Boehner's less-than-honest budget deal advertising may pass as clever in Washington, but it's not selling across the nation to conservatives.  The Speaker's lack of straight shooting and resolve in meeting the GOP's budget pledge could spell election troubles for Republicans in 2012. 

Speaker Boehner's budget spin smacks of old-think Washington-as-usual politics; the game-playing that so fascinates and dazzles the Inside-the-Beltway crowd infuriates tea parties.  Grassroots conservatives aren't enthralled with the deftness, sophistication, and maneuvering that leads to a budget deal that's more hot air than substance.  And that should worry Boehner and the House Republican leadership.  After all, the GOP's House majority is owed in no small measure to tea party Americans and right-thinking independents.         

Facts have a nasty way of intruding on spin.  The fact is that the $38.5 billion that Speaker Boehner won in his budget compromise is less than what the Speaker advertised.  $100 billion was supposed to be the target (it was the GOP pledge).  But then that figure dropped to a "line-in-the-sand" $61 billion.  Then conservatives learned that the Speaker settled for $38.5 billion to avoid a government shutdown - a shutdown being anathema to squeamish establishment Republicans.       

Then as was learned yesterday, the $38.5 billion in cuts wasn't all new.  The Washington Times reported:

The final 2011 spending deal that Congress released Tuesday bears the fingerprints of Democrats far more than Republicans, whose effort to slash the federal deficit was swamped by President Obama's tenacious defense of spending programs.

Chief among those fingerprints were those of Sen. Charles E. Schumer, the New York Democrat who was the first major player to suggest shifting some cuts from discretionary spending to mandatory spending - a key decision that allowed the total dollar amount of cuts to grow, while not slashing the basic programs Democrats wanted to protect.

 So, which side won the budget negotiation?  It's all very nice that the GOP has changed the terms of the budget debate, as we hear from DC drones, but the GOP needs to win the debate, and that doesn't mean by wringing small spending cuts from a vastly out-of-control budget.  It means dramatic cuts that begin the process of re-charting the federal government's course, much smaller government being the aim.   

But redirecting Uncle Sam in historic ways doesn't seem to be Boehner's goal.  With a fragile economy, baby-stepping government toward fiscal sanity isn't going to make the grade. 

For conservatives, the budget deal has that familiar odor of past GOP efforts to better manage the welfare state than the Democrats who created it.  Conservatives and in-tune independents didn't elect Republicans last November to don green eyeshades, bean count, and tidy up the Feds' books.  Voters gave the GOP its largest gains in U.S. House contests since, at least, the 1940s to not only stop Obama's spending and borrowing madness but to usher in a new era of less government.  The budget deal struck by the Speaker doesn't suggest that he gets the imperative of making a paradigm shift. 

Boehner and the Republicans last chance to redeem themselves will be in the fight - let's suppose that the Speaker will really fight - to comprehensively overhaul the 2012 budget.  And keep this in mind: budget-cutting is not an end in itself; it's a tool to close the era of big government that is now reaching its destructive ends - destructive not only to the economy but, moreover, to liberty. 

As to conservatives' angst, it's not hard to guess what Republican consultants are whispering to the Speaker and other GOP leaders: "No worries.  Where can grassroots conservatives go with their votes and dollars?  Conservative activists and voters will come around."

No grassroots conservatives won't, not if Speaker Boehner fails to lead boldly during the coming 2012 budget brouhaha.  A sleight-of-hand performance by the Speaker will be met with the sound of grassroots conservatives' feet marching toward the exits come the next election.  Who said tea parties and independents won't find candidates other than tweedle dee Democrats and tweedle dum Republicans? 

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