Trending on Memeorandum right now is an article by Steve Benen at The Washington Monthly. The headline reads:
Here’s what he writes, followed by a thorough beat down by your’s truly:
The bad news, Republicans still want to use the budget to wage a culture war, and tomorrow night, will shut down the government to advance this agenda.
Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the top Democrat in the Senate, said Thursday morning that he is “not nearly as optimistic” about avoiding a shutdown as he was after a Wednesday night Oval Office meeting and said “it looks like it’s headed in that direction.”
Mr. Reid said that Republicans have “drawn a line in the sand” on issues of abortion funding and changes to the clean air act, and he said those issues could not be resolved in the hours left before a government shutdown.
“The numbers are basically there. But I am not as nearly as optimistic, and that’s an understatement, as I was eleven hours ago,” Mr. Reid said on the floor of the Senate. “The only thing holding up an agreement is ideology.”
In case this isn’t already clear, we’re dealing with obvious madness. Republicans want to cut off Planned Parenthood and gut the Clean Air Act, but instead of pursuing legislation to achieve their goals, they’re insisting that this be part of the budget. Democrats can’t go along with this nonsense, and John Boehner is too weak a Speaker to tell his caucus to act like grown-ups, so the entire process is unraveling.
The Republicans are waging a culture war? Please. If so, we are on the defensive.
Cutting spending to cover a budget deficit isn’t a culture war. Threatening to veto a bill that cuts spending to an ideological brick in your liberal foundation, resulting in a shut down of government, is. Who did that exactly?
President Obama. Who exactly is fighting the war here? My headline is far more accurate than Benen’s, it seems.
As to referring to the cutting off of Planned Parenthood’s funding via the budge process as “madness” is nothing more than hyperbole. Of course you handle funding issues via the budget process.
Furthermore, this isn’t simply about abortions. It’s about the $14 trillion debt the country has and the deficit spending that adds an average of $4 billion a day. There simply isn’t money to give to Planned Parenthood, even if they didn’t provide abortions.
I have preached the following to people for years: pick your battles small enough to win and big enough to matter. Cutting spending in Washington is big enough to matter, and the cuts being proposed are small enough to win.
Boehner is doing what needs to be done. There should be more, but he has compromised as much as he should. It is the Democrats who refuse to budge, despite the facts of the matter being so obvious.
Washington is broke. They need to spend less.
Meanwhile, the left is pointing at everything in the grocery store from the baby seat in the cart, screaming, “I WANT THAT! GIMME, GIMME, GIMME!” And the Republicans are pushing the baby around saying, “No. We can’t afford it and we don’t need it.”
But it’s the GOP that aren’t acting like grown ups.
The left wants it all, can’t pay for it and doesn’t care about anything but their next election. They are afraid of telling the irrational base that there simply isn’t any more left and cut backs are necessary.