Budget Deal: The GOP is playing the long game

The budget deal shows that the GOP is willing to take short term losses for long term gains. Photo: AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite

WASHINGTON, December 11, 2013 — Most of America was surprised yesterday when the Senate announced it had reached a bipartisan budget deal. The deal includes $23 billion in reductions to the federal deficit, $85 billion in overall savings, and $63 billion in what they are calling “sequester relief.”

While the deal has the support of GOP’ers like Paul Ryan and Progressives like the President of the United States, there are of course those on both sides of the political left to right spectrum who are shouting bad form from the respective wings of their parties.

SEE RELATED: Global Iran nuclear deal and the motivations behind it

But this is all just a little odd.

Something is rotten in the State of Dem-Mark, and the Republic of Republicanism.

Let’s take a look at what else is going on in the DC political Thunderdome.

On one hand, you have the GOP making political gold out of the fact that the Affordable Health Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is flailing and falling like the guy who jumped out of a perfectly good airplane with terrible ideas for a parachute. The President is reeling from a bevy of broken promises concerning Obamacare and the ability of one to keep their coverage if they liked it. It turns out that was a wee fib, and now millions have received cancellation notices from their insurance companies stating that “because of the ACA their coverage is no longer valid/legal please pick a new plan that costs a lot more.” There is worry now that millions upon millions of Americans who receive insurance through their employer will also be dropped from their plans because said plans no longer meet the requirements or mandates of the ACA.

SEE RELATED: Nuclear games: Harry Reid unites the GOP, declares war

“If you like your plan you can keep it. Period.”

That is what the President said, and it turns out what he meant was…

“If I like your plan, you can keep it. Maybe.” 

The Democrats, especially White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and President Obama are for the first time having to field tough questions about the law from someone other than Ed Henry at Fox News. The GOP smells blood in the water, they see the President vulnerable, and they go on the offensive even more so than before. Now many of them are vindicated, and the Democrats are forced to continue to sell the ACA to the American people despite the President lying about it. His champions are on TV saying how it’s better in the long run and the President said what he needed to say to get it passed. But all of this is hurting the Democrats, and the GOP knows it, and they are doing their best to push every possible advantage in the next two election cycles.

Then there is Benghazi. To the DNC, it can’t go away fast enough. New information comes out constantly about who was there, why they were there, or why several key commanders were fired shortly after the incident. The Democrats in Congress and in the Cabinet are trying to sell the American people on the idea that there is nothing more to see about Benghazi, but in the eyes of many Americans there is still an issue here, and it is still something that the GOP can exploit and take advantage.

Now you have Harry Reid and the Democrats in the Senate doing away with the filibuster option for Presidential judicial appointments. This was a brazen move aimed to, as the DNC sees it, do away with obstructionist Republicans blocking the President from filling positions. This move did away with over two hundred years of tradition and paved the way for reprisal should the GOP retake the Senate in 2014. This move was threatened by the GOP under Bush over Democrat blockage of appointments, but ultimately a deal was made and everyone moved on. That was obviously not the case here, and even some Democrats voted with their trans-aisle colleagues in opposing the Senate “nuclear option.”

And then there is the actual nuclear option in the deal with Iran. The deal basically hands billions of dollars in cash and equipment to Iran while simultaneously lifting sanctions on that nation for doing nothing but promising that they will allow in inspectors and not seek to develop weapons grade material. What does the United States get in return? Nothing. We get an Iran that is closer to the bomb, an irate ally in Israel, and we lose face as a nation.

It is not as if this move by President Obama coincides with his foreign policy, because he has no foreign policy. We are arming al-Qaeda in Syria and fighting them in Afghanistan, we are fighting Hezbollah and Hamas while handing their benefactor Iran billions of dollars, and we are “liberating” nations around Africa while making them a playground for radical Islamic terrorists.

And now we may be threatening war with a nation based on evidence that may be fabricated.

Oh, you didn’t hear about that?

It was reported by Seymour Hersh in the London Review of Books, under the story “Whose sarin?” In his article, which was passed up by The New Yorker and The Washington Post, Hersh outlines what he believes to be evidence that points to the Obama Administration fabricating or “cherry picking” intelligence reports to justify a strike against Syrian President Bashir al-Assad. Now whether or not it is true, the accusation is out there and it just needs a little bit more of a push to become a full blown political firestorm that ends up with Congressional investigations and hearings.

Why mention this? Because it has the potential to do some serious damage to the Democrats and the President, considering that they have been dragging George W. Bush through the mud for years over accusations that he falsified intelligence to justify invading Iraq. In fact if you look at the speeches both made, Bush on Iraq and Obama on Syria, they are chillingly similar. And with President Obama’s credibility being increasingly called into question, all the Republicans would need to do on this one is wait for it to catch and then take advantage.

Now of course there are accusations that the President lied about the pre-elections job numbers to make them appear to be below 8%, because no modern President has won when the job numbers are at 8%. Considering that the President ran his reelection campaign on the ACA and his impact on the jobs market, if the latter also turns out to be a lie it will do even further damage to the President’s credibility which he cannot afford.

In addition to these issues being somewhat damaging to the overall cause of the Democratic party, as well as the image of the President of the United States, they are also offering shaky middle of the road Democrats with upcoming reelection bids a way to distance themselves from what many perceive to be a sinking ship. The Iran nuclear deal and the ACA are two topics which we will see defections of vulnerable Democrats who will tout how they have always been tough on Iran and something like “I was for the original ACA, and not what the President has turned it into…” As the President’s stock falls, like any falling security, look to watch as investors cut their losses and seek to find their fortunes elsewhere.

But how is the Republican party going to be able to make sure that stock falls? How is the GOP going to let these scandals and terrible laws run their terrible, terrible course in order to make sure that the full effect of the consequences are felt by the DNC?

They are going to stay out of the way.

What evidence is there of this?

The budget deal.

Since passed behavior is the best indicator of future behavior, many Congressional Democrats were probably eager to have the GOP obstruct the new budget deal, make a lot of noise, shut down the government, and in turn distract the entire country from all of the abovementioned things. The GOP Establishment, game players as they have always been, probably saw fighting and dying in the Battle of Little Budget Horn as counterproductive.

A big, messy, budget battle right now would do nothing to help the GOP politically. While the Tea Party will undoubtedly call bad form, and while acceptance of this budget by no means constitutes the act of practicing fiscal conservatism in Congressional politics, it does give the Democrats one less thing they can use to distract from the fact that President Obama’s single greatest legislative achievement has been marred by “faulty” websites, lies, fraud, and downright resentment among the American people. A Gallup Poll conducted last month concluded that 56% of Americans did not believe that it was the roll of the government to regulate health care. And since the Democrats are so fond of using figures such as 90% of the country is in favor of gun control, and so quick to demonize Mitt Romney for disregarding the 47%, they should take a hard look at that 56% who want the government out of healthcare.

The GOP Establishment is basically sidestepping this issue. They do not want to give the Democrats an excuse to hammer them in the media and turn them into the bad guys. That is why you will see members from the far right and far left complain about this deal, because it was made by the GOP and DNC establishment.

The GOP Establishment sacrifices short term cuts to keep on winning the long term gains that will come when all of these scandals and lies add up to the GOP potentially winning the 2014 cycle. When that happens they can renegotiate any deal they want, but they have to get there first. 

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Conor Higgins

Conor Higgins has a B.A. from Catholic University in DC in American History, with a concentration on guerrilla warfare on American soil. He has an M.A. in US History from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, with a concentration on Cold War insurgency. He believes that all news and all information should be taken with a grain of salt, and implores people everywhere to seek news stories everywhere. 

Higgins is also a fervent believer in the traditional role of media, in terms of acting as a balanced check on government policies and individuals regardless of party affiliation. But in the end, he believes that no matter how heated an issue is, there is nothing that can't be discussed over a smoke and some whiskey. 

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