Friday, April 8, 2011


The last gavel has still not fallen on the government shutdown, with a budget possibly still in the works at this late hour. What are the developments over the past few hours?

On the Republican side, it speaks volume that Tom Coburn seemed to be the only adult in the Republican caucus, but he may be getting support to make a deal from the House Republican ranks. Removing the rider that would prohibit the EPA from regulating industrial pollution shows that the Republicans are willing to back off of their showy issues in order to achieve their broader ideological goals. In the budget showdown, Republicans have laid their cards on the table. They are pushing for an America that can not provide adequate healthcare, economic security, international leadership, or consumer protections. The backing away from the naked language prohibiting such action is a positive sign, but does not lessen the magnitude of the Republican success in pushing an ideological budget at the expense of the American taxpayer. Meanwhile, Repbulicans are holding the budget hostage in order to fight womens' health, not to mention equality and freedom.

In the White House, Biden is showing the raw frustrated of being forced to argue with children. This type of honest emotional display will resonate with Americans when they ask themselves, "Who caused this shutdown?" although Republican propagandists are seriously pushing the line that democrats are at fault. Meanwhile, the President is playing good cop to Biden's more eye-catching bad cop routine. The mediator role tarnished President Obama's political standing in the health care debate, where he was caught in the middle of a prolonged legislative battle. In the budget fight, the decisive end probably will pay off better political dividends.

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