It was a useful talking point to say that the Budget Caps were John Boehner’s legacy, even though we all know he was extremely reluctant to put them forward. But busting the caps to this degree with no real pay-fors, when you’re not up against a government shutdown or a default, is now his legacy and the legacy of his tenure: a period of total surrender by Republican leadership on fiscal issues. Voting for this deal says that you are in favor of bigger government and more spending. There is no getting around that.
For Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and John Cornyn to act like they are innocent bystanders to this – that John Boehner is so powerful that he can do whatever he wants – but that is not going to fly. It’s not enough to say you hate the process or that you hate the deal – if you’re confident you can lead and that a Speaker Paul Ryan can negotiate a better deal, just do what Mick Mulvaney has asked to do: kick the can on the debt limit for three months and do your own deal with Obama that looks nothing like this total surrender on spending.