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March 31, 2011

Oh, Dear: Now I Do Think A Lame Sell-Out Compromise Has Been Reached On Spending, Because The Liberals Are Spinning It As A Conservative Victory
Update: Could Just Be More Liberal Spin

Read Ed's post, which includes this reportage by Chuck Todd:

If the current Washington fight over spending was a game of chicken, the Obama White House would already be pulled over on the side of the road, as House Republicans continue to barrel down the deserted highway. The fact is, the White House and Senate Democrats keep caving, while House Republicans — at least publicly — have yet to budge an inch. The latest development, as Politico reports, is that the administration has agreed to an overall cut of $33 billion, which is near the number that the House leadership originally proposed (before the Tea Party caucus forced it to go higher). And now the White House appears to be backing away from its demand that no riders be attached to the deal. Press Secretary Jay Carney said there is no veto threat from the White House on a deal that contains ANY riders, as was originally the position.

You know why I don't like that?

Consider yesterday the story was "GOP gives up and agrees to pitiful $33 billion in cuts."

Now, today, the story seems to be: "Democrats cave and agree to huge $33 billion in cuts."

See? In both cases, it's the same figure, which I am capable of deciding for myself whether I believe it constitutes a win or loss.

My belief is this: Word has gone out. The Republican base won't accept the compromise-- so the Republican leadership can't do what they want to do.

But what if we can convince the base that the same lame $33 billion constitutes not a defeat for the GOP but a defeat for Obama and Reid? If we cast this as a victory, are they dumb enough to now call the same figure a win where before they'd call it a loss?

This could be the price of the deal -- Democrats, and their media allies, agree to put out the "Gee you sure whipped up but good" spin, which permits the Republicans to cave to the Democrats.

If someone has climbed into a tree and is all a-scared and wants to get back down, sometimes you have to help him in his climb-down.

Am I too cynical? I don't think so. All I know is that a deal I thought was a liberal victory yesterday is today being spun by liberals as a liberal defeat.

And I have to ask myself, "Why?" Why is a narrative being created here, that $33 billion, just three billion more than the Democrats' opening bid of $30 billion, is somehow a great victory for conservatives?

Is it because they want to help the conservative cause via positive messaging and tales of great triumph?

I rather... doubt that.

So why?

Oldest diplomatic move in the book: Allow an opponent who doesn't want to fight a face-saving out so he can withdraw with his honor superficially intact.

Actually... Now that I think about it, there's no strong reason to accuse Republican leadership of complicity in this scam.

As pointed out earlier, the Democrats are eagerly feeding stories to their liberal stenographers about deals being made and Republicans walking away from them.

This spin -- "We caved and caved and gave in on everything important and still those extremists wouldn't agree!" -- could just be part of that battlespace preparation. It's all of the same piece, right? It's all the same basic meme, in slightly different versions.

Thanks to RWC for pointing out that possibility -- which, I have to admit, has fewer moving parts and less of a conspiratorial vibe to it than mine does.

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posted by Ace at 12:58 PM

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