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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Budget Battle: Tea Party The Willing Cudgel Used To Beat Democrats Over The Head

Here are some facts that everyone knows but recent budget battle talks and disagreements overshadow.

Fact One: Republicans only control one third of the Government. Democrats control two-thirds of the Government

Fact Two: Republicans control the House of Representatives. Democrats control the U.S. Senate and the White House.

Tea Party members, for all the talk about them, understand this. They are willing to be used as the cudgel that beats Democrats over the head over and over again. They allow this because they are actively involved in the political process and understand the talk about good cop, insane cop, can be used heavily in favor of cleaning up our fiscal mess, one billion at a time.

Michael Ettlinger and Michael Linden take note of what this means. Democrats are now ready to cut $30 billion below 2010 levels for the 2011 budget. That was the Republican leadership’s initial offer, basically a pro-rated version of their $100 billion in cuts from the Obama 2011 budget request. They went further to the right after losing the tea party conservatives and then sought $100 billion overall from that budget request, or in real dollars a $61 billion reduction. So here come the Democrats, offering the $30 billion in cuts that the Republican leadership wanted in the first place.

Look at the budget battle continuing on the Hill at the moment.

Despite controlling two thirds of the Government, Democrats have been forced to concede time and time again because they understand the Republicans owe the Tea Party. They owe them because the GOP made promises during their campaigns and the Tea Party has every right to expect, demand even, those promises be kept to the best of the GOP's ability.

From NBC's Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Domenico Montanaro, and Ali Weinberg
*** Caving in: If the current Washington fight over spending was a game of chicken, the Obama White House would already be pulled over on the side of the road, as House Republicans continue to barrel down the deserted highway. The fact is, the White House and Senate Democrats keep caving, while House Republicans -- at least publicly -- have yet to budge an inch. The latest development, as Politico reports, is that the administration has agreed to an overall cut of $33 billion, which is near the number that the House leadership originally proposed (before the Tea Party caucus forced it to go higher). And now the White House appears to be backing away from its demand that no riders be attached to the deal. Press Secretary Jay Carney said there is no veto threat from the White House on a deal that contains ANY riders, as was originally the position. And here’s what Vice President Biden said on the matter yesterday: “The president and I are not really big on any riders at all. But this is a process which is normal for the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to get into the details. We’ve made it clear what we think are non-starters, both in numbers and riders. But I’m not going to go -- I’m not going to negotiate out here.”

Media outlet after media outlet as well as Democratic leaders [Reid] continue to cry out "The Republicans are scared of the Tea Party".

I beg to differ.

Republicans are not scared of the Tea Party, Republicans love the Tea Party.

Republicans that are serious about spending cuts and understand that America continues to spend more money than it has, also understand the Tea Party is the best friend they have and the best weapon against Democrats that wish to continue spending more money than we have.

I suspect there will be no government shutdown. A budget deal will be made, Republicans fighting tooth and nail for each and every spending cut made, publicly. Democrats fighting against each and every spending cut, just as publicly.

The Tea Party will say it is not enough. Republicans will point to Democrats, reminding folks that Democrats control two-thirds of the government and say that's why they couldn't get more spending cuts.

Translation to Tea Party- 2012 elections.

The Tea Party and the GOP are tag teaming the out-of-control, spend-more-than-we-have Democrats and they are doing it brilliantly.