The GOPs objective was to make sure the public saw this in order to establish that pattern of behavior. If they'd dropped the issue, the public wouldn't have seen it, and when the Dems fight tooth and nail for those pet projects in the next fight it will be better received than it will now.
What the public saw was one of the following:
1. A Congress unable to reach a compromise and bickering like children, OR
2. The Republicans tacking on riders that completely went against their "Pledge to America," and made a mockery of their rhetoric that "only the budget matters!"
Those riders were not violations of that pledge. I already countered this argument earlier in this thread. The riders were specific to budget items and were contained in a budget bill. Where the hell else would you put spending restrictions except in such a bill? What the pledge was talking about was putting completely unrelated amendments into bills. That's not the case here.
Not even my crazy conservative cousin tried to spin this as a "The Democrats are showing how much they cling to their social programs at the expense of us all, keh heh heh!"
Ah... The "No other conservatives are making the same argument, so you must be wrong!!" argument. Gotta love this one. No, really! But your crazy cousin is clearly the only representative of what conservatives think, right? Lol!
I consider her a pretty good barometer for the "fringe" right element.
Which is why your argument is wrong. I'm not talking about the nutters, but those who understand how the coming budget battle is going to go. Overwhelmingly, this was about showing how willing the Dems were to put their pet projects ahead of things which most Americans think are more important.
The riders the Republicans tried to attach came off as petty- and were called for a social agenda by the religious right.
That's an unfair characterization though. They are those programs which happen to meet the axe-cutting criteria of *both* the religious right and the fiscal right. They are clearly not necessary things for the federal government to spend money on *and* they happen to be overwhelmingly opposed by a largish segment of the population. Where else would you start if your objective is to cut unnecessary spending? With programs that are overwhelmingly popular with most Americans? Or those over which there is a degree of controversy anyway?
It's true a lot of the Tea Party right-wing wanted the government to shut down - until they heard that the military would not get paid and social security checks could be delayed.
So you'll hear on the left leaning blogs and news sources. I can find just as many right leaning sources who'll claim with just as much certainty that the Dems wanted to shut down the government as well. We could play that finger pointing game all day and all night and not get anywhere, so how about we just ignore that as background rhetoric and focus on more factual aspects of the issue?
But most moderate independents and Democrats saw it as the Republicans lied outright and then tucked their tails to reach a compromise.
Lied about what? And who are you talking about? You seem to be switching from tea party to republicans and pundits and politicians willy nilly in order to make your point. You do understand that there are many opinions on something like this, and not all of them are going to agree, even when they are nominally "on the same side"? I know that Joph loves to make hay out of this, but it's perfectly normal. Heck, it's healthy.
At the end of the day, this was a continuing resolution from last years budget
, which the Dems failed to pass a bill on. This was "free cuts" from the point of view of the GOP. As I've been saying all along, the main point of this exercise is to gauge the Dems reaction to the important budget cut proposals which will be coming up and to set the stage for the inevitable fight which will occur. And on that aspect of this, they absolutely won. That they also got 38+ Billion dollars in cuts which they would not have gotten otherwise is pure bonus. Edited, Apr 11th 2011 8:07pm by gbaji