No deal

Even the editors at NRO can’t stomach the ludicrous no-cuts deal that Boehner is attempting to strike with the Senate and White House:

We initially supported the deal House Speaker John Boehner cut with the White House to cut $38.5 billion from the rest of the fiscal year 2011 budget. It was only a pittance in the context of all of Washington’s red ink, but it seemed an acceptable start, even if we assumed it would be imperfect in its details. What we didn’t assume was that the agreement would be shot through with gimmicks and one-time savings. What had looked in its broad outlines like a modest success now looks like a sodden disappointment….

As they push a bargain that is still not fully understood, Boehner and the leadership have put their members in an awful fix with another deadline to keep the government open fast approaching. We’d vote “no,” even if we understand the impulse to move on to more important matters and to avoid a leap into the dark that might include a politically damaging shutdown. At the very least, freshmen and other conservatives should be frank about the deal’s shortcomings, refusing to exaggerate its merits as their leadership often has. The episode is strike one against the speakership of John Boehner.

I think it was fairly obvious from the start that Boehner was a fraud, his tears and odes to the Tea Party notwithstanding. I have very little confidence that he will stand up and refuse to raise the debt ceiling next month either, which would explain Treasury Secretary Geithner’s apparent confidence that he will soon have more money to spend.

The problem with the NRO perspective is that the advertised $38.5 billion deal wasn’t any more financially serious than its $300 million revised version, it merely provided better window dressing for the House Republicans. But as Republican cheerleaders, the NRO editors have real cause to be concerned because Boehner’s actions are all but guaranteeing some sort of third party challenge to the Republicans in 2012 and 2014.