So I was over at a good buddy’s house yesterday, and he’s a fairly typical conservative, maybe a little moderate in some ways but traditional in others. Naturally, the debt deal came up:
In the end, it wasn’t even close. If you were watching on C-SPAN, you saw that barely a couple dozen Democrats voted for the “compromise” debt ceiling bill at first, but once passage became inevitable, the rest flooded in. That meant a final roll call of 269 in favor to 161 against. On the GOP side, it was 174 aye to 66 nay, with the “no” votes coming from the party’s dystopian teabagger wing, full of dead-enders ready to shoot hostages.
Looks to me like progressives aren’t happy, and that we didn’t get much. But my friend was livid. The top complaint seem to be it didn’t cut anything. We both agreed it was too complicated, and what little we could understand of how it worked was far below the $ 4 trillion or so that was reportedly under discussion between Obama and Boehner at one point.
There’s a lot of stuff progressives don’t have in common with the self described Teaparty wing of the Republican party. But one thing I can relate to: progressives sent a lot of politicians to DC in 2006 and 208, and we had in mind a specific agenda to be enacted. Progressives had all three branches of government, we could have and should have run the table, but we still didn’t get close to everything we wanted. The Teaparty has several dozen members in the party that controls the House. The fact that they got anything at all in this latest round of DC kabuki is a miracle. And they better get used to this pattern of not getting everything they want. Because, as someone who played a small role in two wave elections, I predict the disappointment with the cowardice of those they worked to elected will get worse. A lot worse.
Welcome to the wonderful world of national politics my Teaparty friends.