WASHINGTON, December 18, 2013 — The budget deal passed the Senate and now it is in the hands of the President to sign. President Obama will sign it, and he will champion it as his greatest achievement since Obamacare was passed, and he will praise the bipartisan effort that led to the measure having the distinct privilege of being tattooed and inked on the Resolute Desk by the leader of the Free World. Ah, the legislative process.
This bill was sent to the President under the staunch protest of many Tea Party conservatives in Washington. They believe that the bill does not go far enough, or really do anything to curtail spending, or address the national debt, or truly take a shot at the deficit, really they believe it does nothing at all. The GOP Establishment believes that the Tea Party should stop yapping like lap dogs, be quiet, and remember their place. The Democrats are just excited that they get to spend more money while appearing to be bipartisan.
The budget deal hashed out between Paul Ryan and Patty Murray is supposed to address the deficit by cutting $23 billion over ten years. Aside from that fact that it does nothing to address any financial problems that the country is facing, the bill seeks to find those cuts in the cost of living increases in the benefits for military veterans.
To recap: The government spends too much, and they have decided to burden veterans with that problem. Alright then.
So how does any Conservative go along with this deal and still attempt to stand on principle?
They can’t, and most of them have voiced strong opposition against this bill.
So then how does any Establishment Republican go along with this deal and still attempt to stand on principle?
Establishment Republicans have to have principles for which to stand upon in the first place. Men like John Boehner, John McCain, Mitch McConnell, they are all Establishment men who seek to stay in power, and if that means making a deal with the Democrats then they will do that, and have done so many times. This deal had the potential to further divide the Republican Party within itself. The Democrats obviously wanted to stick something to the GOP that would drive a wedge deeper into the Party divide, but Establishment GOP leaders were aware of this. From the beginning they sought to silence Tea Party dissidents by loudly proclaiming that “this is what we are doing…It’s going to pass, get over it.”
Why does the Establishment GOP continue to support a change in veteran’s benefits?
Because like Admiral Achbar in Return of the Jedi, “it’s a trap.”
The Democrats are reeling from Obamacare and the other scandals which have rocked DC in 2013. Edward Snowden seems to be releasing damaging evidence of government violation of the 4th Amendment every week, and the Party that forced Richard Nixon’s resignation over wire-tapping is now protesting a ruling made by a federal judge that rules the NSA phone spying program unconstitutional.
Oh what a tangled web we weave.
So the Democrats need a victory, or better yet a distraction. They need to share some of the blame and sense of betrayal that many Americans feel toward the President and his allies for lying about a myriad of issues in Washington.
So along comes the budgetary spider, and the Democrats can’t wait until the Republicans disagree with them. When that happens, the Democrats can force a shutdown at the expense of the GOP image and then some of the anger over Obamacare can be transferred to their trans-aisle compadres. What’s more, the DNC knows this will piss off the far right and cause friction among the GOP. It will be beautiful.
But the Republican Establishment likes the deal, at least enough to choke it down.
Oh no, says the DNC. We can’t have that. They need to be fighting. Look! The Tea Party are racists and don’t want the deal!
Nope. The Establishment Republicans hold the line, even against their Tea Party brethren, and they stick to their guns.
But wait, the Democrats outline that the cuts are to veteran’s benefits! That will surely make the Republicans reject this deal and start a negotiation war.
Despite the Democrats doing everything to provoke a budget fight and government shutdown short of hopping the aisle and slapping John Boehner with a gauntleted hand, the Republican Establishment keeps the young Tea Party pups in the kennel and keeps on moving forward.
This was designed to hurt and to do damage to the Republican Party. It forces them to sacrifice either their principles in agreeing to the deal, or their recently improved political standing by refusing it and coaxing another shutdown.
But while the Democrats see this as a win for them in terms of getting to define the budget, and the Republican Establishment sees this as a means of paving the way for 2014, the Tea Party should be seeing this as a means to power, and the Democrats should be worrying at the potential monster they created.
The Tea Party gets to vote no on this. They get to vote no and they get to listen to the outspoken voices of veterans and angry Conservatives and they get to say “We voted no on this! Support us in 2014! The Establishment went along with it, vote them out!” And when the Tea Party challenges Establishment incumbents, they will get to cite this as a shining example of how out of touch DC is with the American Conservative. If they play their cards right, there will indeed be more Republicans in office in 2015, though they will be Tea Party faces instead of Establishment allies.
Finally, the potential rise of the Tea Party poses a problem for the Democrats. While they have scored a short term victory in terms of the budget, they are still taking heat for the Obamacare debacle as well as other mentioned and unmentioned scandals. They have created a situation which the Tea Party could potentially exploit and use to come to power. If this comes to pass, and the GOP takes the Senate and strengthens their position in the House with Tea Party help, President Obama will have two long, lame ducking years until the end of his last term in office.
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