Rivals in a divided government, President Barack Obama and the most powerful Republican in Congress split their differences to stave off a federal shutdown that neither combatant was willing to risk.Why the quotes around shellacking? That's what happened, you idiots.
Their compromise is the result of a battle pitting the enduring power of the presidential veto and the White House soapbox - despite a "shellacking" in the last election - against a strong-willed GOP House speaker vaulted into office by a voter revolt against Washington's free-spending ways.
The resulting measure will bleed about $40 billion from the day-to-day budgets of domestic agencies over just the next six months, the biggest rollback of such government programs in history. It allows Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to claim his GOP shock troops had put Cabinet department operating budgets on track toward levels in place before Obama took office. In the end, the White House had to meet Boehner more than halfway on spending.Why no quotes around shock troops?
On the other side was a strong-willed Obama, who mostly succeeded in forcing Republicans to cave in on dozens of controversial conservative policy prescriptions - including rolling back environmental protections and cutting off Planned Parenthood from taxpayer assistance while protecting favored programs like education, clean energy and medical research.Really? Women are the core constituency of the Democrats? That's news to us.
It was, in short, the type of split-the-differences deal that a political scientist might have predicted from the start, given the realities of divided government.
Obama stood firm against GOP attempts to block the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to issue global warming rules and other reversals of environmental regulations. Obama's wins on the environment were matched by a bitter battle in which he said no way to GOP demands to cut off Planned Parenthood from federal help. The results, taken together, pleased core Democratic constituencies of environmentalists and women.
For the first time since 1982, when exit polls began measuring support for Congressional candidates, Republicans received a majority of women’s votes. Two years ago, House Democratic candidates won women by 14 points.Nothing like some fact-free reportage from the AP. The GOP reversed a three-decade trend in 2010, but supposedly women are core constituents for the Democrats.
The extremist Democrats tried every scare tactic from their tired playbook and still took a beating. Their prospects in 2012 look bleak, so expect them to ratchet up the silliness we've seen on display the past couple of weeks. Their problem is nobody's listening to them. Except for their adoring media.
Let the Democrats run next year on a platform of endless funding of Planned Parenthood and pushing their global warming nonsense. Then they're really going to see a shellacking.