Boehner and the right 

Mark Tapscott and David Fredosso captured some of the frustration among conservatives about the budget deal, and for more disappointment, check out Red State. The problem with this debate is that you cannot prove a negative, so it's much easier for somebody to argue that if House Speaker John Boehner, R-Oh., were willing to let the government shut down, that he could have gotten a better deal, then it is to celebrate a deal that cuts spending by little more than a rounding error relative to the overall budget. But I have yet to read or hear a criticism that outlined a realistic scenario under which Obama would agree to everything Republicans proposed, let alone a scenario in which lawmakers made a major dent in the debt in a six-month budget.

Even when Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress from 2007 to 2009 and President Bush's approval ratings were in the 20s and 30s, liberals didn't get much of anything they wanted. Bush got his Iraq troop surge and he vetoed  the expansion of the children's health program S-CHIP, and Democrats couldn't stop him even though the public was on their side. But they used this reality to motivate their base of voters as to why they needed more Democrats in Congress and a Democratic president -- and one of the first things they did when Obama was president was to pass the S-CHIP expansion again, which Obama signed two weeks into office.

There is simply no way a Democratic Senate and President Obama were going to sign on to a bill defunding their national health care law and Planned Parenthood and defanging the Environmental Protection Agency in addition to cutting the president's own budget request by $100 billion -- even if Boehner were willing to shut down the government indefinitely. I've criticized Boehner in the past, but I think he deserves some slack on this one.

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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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Wednesday, Nov 21, 2018


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