Assuming that the debt ceiling deal passes Congress, which I think is still a big assumption, it is no win for Barack Obama, but it is a save. If it doesn't pass, it is not the disaster for the U.S. economy that the Democrats have predicted. But it will be a disaster for Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and all the rest of them.
Either way this whole ugly struggle has been a great moral victory for conservatives. It has forced the Democrats to confront this question in the eyes of all taxpaying Americans:
What's so hard to understand about spending less?
Passing this debt ceiling extension will take the pressure off the Democrats to answer that question. They cannot answer it. They must be thanking their lucky stars that John Boehner would deal with them at all.
Spending less means they don't get reelected. That's what all the screaming and squealing has been about for the past month of "gridlock".
If we had to rely on the Republican Party alone to get us here, the Lindsey Grahams and John McCains and Lamar Alexanders of the Senate, and even torchbearer John Boehner in the House, we would never have gotten here. Their nature is to go along to get along. They would have caved weeks ago, with no real spending cuts at all and no second stage to force the issue again.
There was nothing sweeter I heard in all this debate than the day the media was reporting that the Tea Party House members couldn't be bought: They didn't want favors and didn't particularly care if they got reelected. They came to Congress simply to do what their constituents sent them to do. How cool is that!
In the past few days I have heard the Tea Party derided by a reporter as part of a regular news report on NBC Nightly News as obstructionist. I have defended the Tea Party to a good friend who is as conservative as can be but was panicking that the markets couldn't handle the disruption. I have listened to Van Jones on NPR deriding the Tea Party for being unpatriotic. I have listened to the faux expert Howard Bloom on Coast to Coast A.M. still invoking Keynesian Economics even in the face of the abysmal failure of the Stimulus as the only strategy to save the economy! It has been maddening!
But there's no denying the bottom line:
We have the Tea Party movement to thank for finally forcing Washington to reduce its spending.