I hope we’re not supposed to like this budget deal struck at the eleventh hour on Friday night, because I don’t.
What did Tea Party Republicans get? $80 billion in cuts. Eighty percent of what they asked for.
And what did we get? We avoided a government shutdown – for which Republicans would have received all the blame.
The way I see it, this was a big win for the Tea Party. Tea Party freshmen put the pressure on John Boehner, and he caved in. Then John Boehner put the pressure on President Obama, and he caved in. In other words, the tail was wagging the dog.
But here’s the worst part: This wasn’t the end of the game. This is only the beginning. For Tea Partiers, the battle over the final six months of the 2011 budget was only the warm-up to two much bigger battles.
First, the vote to increase the debt ceiling, which must happen by May 16, and which Tea Partiers say they will never support without massive additional cuts.
Then, the war over the 2012 budget, where Republicans are already talking about getting rid of Medicare and Medicaid.
And now Republicans know – if they push hard enough, President Obama will fold.
That’s my parting shot for today.