If you’re surprised that a deal was reached at the last minute to re-open the government and raise the debt limit you haven’t been paying attention to American politics for the past decade. One side or the other, though it does usually seem to be Republicans, will leave a final decisions off for as long as humanly possible in order to extract concessions and to leave themselves in the ‘well I tried but I failed’ position with their constituents. This isn’t surprising, it isn’t new, and the damage done to the economy and the billions in lost revenue is a small price to pay- in Republican eyes- for them to be seen making the correct overtures of defunding the ACA. New day, same infuriating politics that play with the lives of citizens like a cat does a ball of string.
Except that President Obama seems to have finally learned his lesson. Let the Republicans jam themselves into a wall headfirst time and time again for no real gain, let them fruitlessly shut down the government- be blamed for the shutdown- and have nothing to show for it. Let their craziest members talk about how they’re standing up for change and the American public when polls show the public mostly just wants them to shut up and get on with governing so they can go to Yosemite thank-you-very-much. And it’s a very solid position for the President to take. Perhaps the talk of hostage negotiation was taken a bit too far, but the analogy works well enough for the President’s purposes.
Which isn’t to say the Democrats are going to get off for free here, they aren’t. While Republicans are eating the lion’s share of the blame there’s plenty who blame the Democrats as well. And honestly, rightly so. Neither party was willing to make concessions, leading us to the shut down in the first place, and the Democratic base wasn’t thrilled with their leaders letting that happen regardless of what the Republicans had been doing.
But after the beating the Republicans have taken in the polls for ‘sticking to their principles’, and the lessons the Democrats learned in regards to deal with Republican ‘hostage tactics’, the GOP would have to be off its damn rocker to try and get the ACA defunded- yet again- when the debt limit runs out in February.
Somehow, I just don’t think we’ve seen the last of this.