President Obama rejects GOP ransom demands (Photo: White House)
The fight Democrats put up against defunding women's health was a righteous one. And if the Republicans had stubbornly chosen to shut down the government over it, they would looked like the mad men they are instead of coming across — to some — as reasonable. Instead they released their hostage and smiled for the cameras, even though it angered some of their tea party wing. Oh, they did manage to screw over women who live in the District of Columbia, but how many Americans will notice that? The deal includes a rider saying the District cannot use its own funds to cover abortions for women who can't afford one.
As for the rest, it was a sucky deal. Billions of dollars axed from programs mostly dedicated to easing the lives of Americans who, even in the best of times, have a rough go of things economically. And these are not the best of times.
In acknowledging the deal, President Barack Obama noted:
This agreement between Democrats and Republicans, on behalf of all Americans, is on a budget that invests in our future while making the largest annual spending cut in our history. Like any worthwhile compromise, both sides had to make tough decisions and give ground on issues that were important to them. And I certainly did that.
Some of the cuts we agreed to will be painful. Programs people rely on will be cut back. Needed infrastructure projects will be delayed. And I would not have made these cuts in better circumstances.
But beginning to live within our means is the only way to protect those investments that will help America compete for new jobs -- investments in our kids’ education and student loans; in clean energy and life-saving medical research. We protected the investments we need to win the future.
I want to think Speaker Boehner and Senator Reid for their leadership and their dedication during this process. A few months ago, I was able to sign a tax cut for American families because both parties worked through their differences and found common ground. Now the same cooperation will make possible the biggest annual spending cut in history, and it’s my sincere hope that we can continue to come together as we face the many difficult challenges that lie ahead, from creating jobs and growing our economy to educating our children and reducing our deficit.
Politicians must make compromises. This can be frustrating, infuriating, but necessary. There is, however, no need to put lipstick on a pig. And that's what touting the "biggest annual spending cut in history" as a good thing does. More lipstick from Harry Reid in giving kudos to the other side. Instead of praising the Republicans, why not come out and say the GOP screwed rank-and-file Americans? Why not say the Democrats did what they could to slow them down, but that now millions will suffer because of the cuts the party had crammed down its throat to avoid the entire government being shut down? Hell's bells, the Democratic leadership could have even said they did it for the troops.
But no, it's kumbaya for Republicans bent on cramming yet more of its radical agenda down the nation's throat.