Did the Obama Administration, Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner really think that no one would notice? Did they think that when people learned that $38 billion in cuts was actually $14.7 billion in cuts, that that would be fine? Did they think the Republican members of the House of Representatives, who were elected to Congress because they pledged to cut the federal budget, would just roll over and say: “hey, that’s show biz?”
You can’t make this stuff up.
It turns out that the budget agreement that all parties were hailing this past weekend as a “great achievement” is in fact a joke. Any Republican who was elected with even a sliver of Tea Party support is now duty-bound to vote against it on Friday. Every 2012 Republican presidential hopeful is now duty-bound to demand that it be voted down.
Meanwhile, at the grass roots level, a firestorm of protest is building. By the time Rush Limbaugh completes his radio program tomorrow, it’s likely that the Congressional switchboard will be overwhelmed by an enraged electorate. Email in-boxes at Congressional offices will have 25,000 new messages, all of them succinct: “vote it down.”
The Big Three government leaders took a volatile situation and made it 2 or 3 times worse, by lying to everyone about what had been agreed to when the announcement was made late last Friday night.
We won’t know for another day or so whether this budget agreement has any chance in the House. But it sure feels like defeat. And if it turns out to be a narrow win, made possible only by leadership threats and inducements, then the coming battle over the debt ceiling may well lead to House Speaker Boehner ‘s ouster. As well, it may lead to an outright split between the Republican establishment and the various Tea Party organisations all across the country.