During the era of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, it’s become popular in conservative circles to blast Republican leadership for surrendering.
These charges, in my view, were often not fair. I argued that the debt ceiling had to be raised, government had to be funded, and that it would have been impossible to extend all of the Bush tax cuts following President Obama’s reelection. As much as I’ve opposed Obamacare, I disagreed tactically with Obamacare opponents who believed it would be possible to stop the program without control of the White House through a “defunding” push. In other words, I’m not one to use the term “surrender” loosely.
But now that I’ve had a chance to dig through the details of the budget deal Boehner announced Tuesday morning, I’m comfortable saying: This is what Republican surrender looks like.
Republican leaders have agreed to unravel progress they made in hard fought budget battles to pump more money into government in the short-term in exchange for modest reforms, many of which can and likely will be easily undone by future Congresses. After spending much of their time in the minority in 2009 and 2010 poking holes in Obama’s budget gimmickry, they have dug deep into a Mary Poppins-like bag of gimmicks and thrown them all into this deal.