The opening act is over. Prepare for the main event. The battle over the House Republicans 2012 budget.
It will propose far bigger cuts in spending and would fundamentally change the nature of federal programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.
Who wants this? An ultra conservative minority of the Republican party, which, by the way, was not afraid of a government shutdown. They welcomed it because "it would say to the American people that the people we elected are willing to do what we want them to do."
They did. And they won. Pass me the hammer, Mother, there's a fly on baby's head.
The mainstream of the Republican party (an oxymoron?) was reluctant (read "afraid") to ignore them and, instead, opted to appease and placate. The jury on the future of the Tea Party is still out. Their mantra is "cut spending', re- repeated by House Speaker John Boehner. The rest of the sentence should read "on entitlements upon which a majority of Americans have relied for decades."
The concern is whether or not this minority sentiment will grow, remain stagnant, or decline. The President and the Democrats agreed to spending cuts in excess of what they believed to be prudent, this in the spirit of compromise. This word does not presently appear in the lexicon of the Tea Party. How can you negotiate when the vocabulary of one side consists only of the word "no"? And, by the way, what is the connect between cutting spending and job creation?
The outcome of the looming, crucial budget battle depends upon the mood of the country. In the final analysis, that is the criterion to which our elected officials should adhere. The strength of ideology is often overcome by that of public opinion.
Both sides are declaring victory over averting a government shutdown. But somebody lost something. As specific details emerge, we shall learn who and how much.
Hold onto your hat. Not just because of the forthcoming legislative brouhaha, but because it will save you the cost of buying a new one.
Would the privileged few, if they owned a lake, give a duck a drink?