I am generally in favor of the Ryan-Murray budget deal. I think that it is probably the best deal that can be negotiated by Republicans under the circumstances; congressional Republicans only control the House and have to deal with a Democrat-controlled Senate and White House, so they are not going to get everything they want. And I am glad to see that people like John Boehner have decided to take outside conservative groups to task for not understanding basic, practical politics. Hopefully, we will see a smarter conservative grassroots emerge as a consequence of the criticism.
But none of the above prevents me from criticizing the budget deal on the grounds that it allows Senate Democrats to abstain from passing a budget next year, a deal Senate Democrats rather like, because it means that vulnerable Democratic incumbents won’t have to answer for any tough budgetary votes.
I guess that I hold to traditional notions when it comes to being a leader; namely, if one is given the privileges of leadership, those privileges come with responsibilities. And in this case, Senate Democrats, having been given the privilege of leadership, have the responsibility to pass a budget. If they can’t or won’t do the job, then perhaps they ought to give way to others who can and will. This is a radical idea in some parts, I am sure, but I am bold and reckless enough to say that it is an idea worth adhering to.