Maybe it’s just Christmas spirit, or the fatigue that comes with the season, but at the moment we cannot work up the requisite hatred for any Republicans. As loyal members of the Grand Old Party we are expected to be livid about its congressional leadership, but even after that lousy budget deal the Republicans have capitulated to we’re not in any mood to bash anybody the Democrats.
Those shrieking voices on the talk radio shows have a point, of course. The budget deal does increase short-term spending in exchange for long-term cuts that might never materialize, it does include tax increases even if they are in the slightly more tolerable form of user fees, and it does once again inflict budgetary indignities on the military, among other affronts to a Republican sensibility, and above all it’s a far cry from what’s needed to put the country’s finances in order. We note with satisfaction that our Senators and Representative all opposed the deal, right down to the bitter end, and we’re certainly not inclined to vote for any Democrat as a result.
Still, neither are we inclined to punish House Speaker John Boehner or Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan or any other of the Republicans who went along with this nonsense. As bad as the deal was, those congressmen are in a better position than almost any of their critics to know how much worse it could have been. The Democrats are also infuriated by a deal that didn’t include punitive taxes on those they consider rich, it didn’t restore the trillion dollar deficits of their glory days, and extracting further concessions from them would have required the risky tactic of yet another partial government shutdown. We have no qualms about even a total government shutdown, but many of the people Republicans will need in the upcoming mid-term elections apparently do, and it seems impolitic to offend them at a time when they’re so fed up with Obamacare and a sluggish economy and a snooping national security apparatus that they’re willing to do so something so gauche as vote against the Democrats.
Compared to what’s needed the budget deal is a great disappointment, but compared to what the a Democratic majority in the House would do with the current Democratic Senate and Democratic White House it’s a godsend. With Democrats like that to loathe, even in the Christmas season, we have no anger left for Republicans who sincerely intend to stave off their electoral ambitions.
— Bud Norman