Well, the fight over whether or not to allow the government to avoid partial government shutdown ended up in a colossal game of chicken, and it’s not quite sure who blinked. Well, not exactly; both blinked, it’s just unclear who blinked first. Or harder. Sorry, it’s a poor metaphor, but it’s the best we got.
We know that a deal was struck, and enough Democrats and Republicans signed off on it to get it past both Houses and to Obama’s desk. It cut spending by another $38 billion through the end of the year (but as Ed Morrissey notes, our current spending level adds about $50 billion per week, so it’s not that great an improvement). The Republicans won a few points — a ban on federally-funded abortions in DC and a guarantee of a vote on defunding Planned Parenthood (which will most likely fail, but makes certain Harry Reid can’t just lock it in a closet and wait for it to die on its own). They didn’t pass a final budget for the year, but it appears that that will be done (a bit over a year after President Obama submitted his budget plan to the House, where Nancy Pelosi did just lock it in a closet and let it die on its own.
Speaking of the former Speaker and current House Minority Leader, she played a key role in the final struggle — by skipping out of town. While the final details were being hammered out and voted on, Nancy Pelosi was speaking at Tufts University (something to which I can say “I did that first!”).
It looks like the major winner here were the Republicans, who demonstrated that while the Democrats hold the White House and the Senate, the Republicans’ hold on the House really puts them in the catbird seat when it comes to budgetary matters. Last year, the Democrats held the House, and used that to simply not pass a budget; now that grownups are in charge in the lower house, they finally did what the Democrats refused to do.
And the biggest loser has to be President Obama, who almost-tearfully had to cancel his 583rd vacation of his administration and not take his family to colonial Williamsburg. My sources tell me that Sasha is inconsolable, Malia is weeping uncontrollably, Bo The Dog has forgotten his housebreaking, and Michelle… well, let’s just say there’s a good reason why President Obama is walking that way and sitting as little as possible.
And let’s not let it be forgotten that the immediate crisis has eased, but we’re still in a hell of a mess. The budget being finalized is the one that should have been passed six months ago, and covers the remaining current fiscal year — which ends September 30. The House also has to settle the budget for next year as well (President Obama submitted his plan for that back on February 1 of this year).
But the crisis has passed, the drama is over, and now we can figure out which Muslim nation Obama’s going to declare not-war on during his next vacation.
Author’s note: lately, I’ve found myself adopting little pieces of other bloggers’ general tones and styles when writing or commenting. I’ve caught myself channeling Ace Of Spades on one or two occasions, and this piece seems to have more than a little of Allahpundit in it. I dunno what triggered this phase, or even if it will last, but I gotta confess it’s kind of fun.