OK, the budget deal announced yesterday is pretty darn pathetic. I had hoped for more. And John Boehner is running for re-election instead of stepping aside as House Speaker. I will probably be wrong about this next bit too. But its still useful to question consensus.
Maybe this is the formative move for an emerging center-right coalition government? This is our best hope for progress. More importantly it could actually deliver major progress.
- The fractured Republican Party means the House lacks a functioning single-party majority.
- But the House does have the makings of a healthy, coherent center-right majority coalition. Moderate Democrats. Business-friendly Republicans (formerly known as “mainstream” Republicans – now increasingly isolated, threatened, and frustrated).
- This is the group who voted for the debt-ceiling deal. It is the same group that will have to vote through this pathetic excuse for a budget deal.
Maybe they start to think of themselves as a group?
If the budget deal gets done, it will have no meaningful policy effect. But maybe the act of voting it through helps to create some coherence and trust? Maybe it helps to create some sense of group cohesion across the aisle. Maybe it even gets people to realize just how much they could accomplish by keeping those channels open? Immigration reform? Tax reform? Maybe even – gasp! – entitlement reform? Le pouvoir* is certainly pressing them to take this up (with campaign dollars to follow).
OK, so I a delusional. And grasping for straws. File this all under food for thought, but probably nothing more substantial than that.
FYI, I did a similar piece on this after the shutdown (see link below). Too bad Boehner didn’t resign. http://strongviewslightlyheld.willowblish.com/2013/10/16/boehner-san-your-flying-bomb-is-gassed-up-and-ready-rump-parliament-ahead/
* Le Pouvoir “The Power literally translated; The powers that be.” Refers to the governing class of Algeria, but highly applicable elsewhere. From Wikipedia: The country is currently a constitutional republic with a democratically elected government, though the military, in practice, remain major powerbrokers along with “a select group” of unelected civilians. These “décideurs” are reportedly known to Algerians as “le pouvoir” (“the power”), make major decisions, including who should be president.