Earlier today I blogged what amounts to Politico’s take on the budget battle that’s brewing in Washington, which could shut the government down if it’s not settled by the end of the week. Stop applauding, I have more to say and the racket it distracting.
I probably should have known better than to just take Politico’s report at face value. It certainly left a lot to be desired in terms of context. Fox’s Special Report ran a video story on the same issues and same politicians involved in the Politico story, but House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner and the Republicans come off here as the serious budget-cutters, while Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. David Obey come off as petulant porkers using the budget fight to launch one more scam to force the president’s hand on the war in Iraq by cutting funding for it, or making him veto its funding. That certainly fits the pattern we’ve seen over the past year, and interestingly, the Politico report doesn’t mention the war at all. The “idle threat” talk, then, isn’t a Republican defense of earmarks, but a recognition by Republicans that Democrat Obey wouldn’t dare cut out earmarks since 60% of them are stuffed into the legislation by Democrats. That also makes a great deal of sense.