On the Budget Deal ...
... just a general sense on my part that Speaker Boehner got the better of the deal and that, despite agreeing to drop the Pence Amendment from the final continuing budget resolution, the pro-life ball has nevertheless been advanced. My cautiously optimistic belief is that this commenter seems to have it about right:
Have you noticed that all the pro-life groups in the forefront of the fight to de-fund are ecstatic?
That's because they understand this was a nice step forward in momentum. With all due respect, this is an appropriations bill to get us through the end of the fiscal year --which is just September. That's not much defunding. The real battle is over what gets funded in an actual budget, not a mere continuing resolution...and no one shuts down the whole government over a mere rider, however desirable.
The important thing is the Dems, who hold all the cards still, since they have one house and the Presidency, blinked. They gave pro-life concessions and they threw their moderate members under the bus, exposing them to the uncomfortable position of having to vote up or down on both Planned Parenthood on Thursday and Obamacare repeal (also a pro-life vote) going into an election year.
Don't you see that it's far more valuable, when the momentum is on our side, to force people to vote for Planned Parenthood, rather than for an appropriation where the pro-life nature of the vote is obscured? Do you want them defunded and discredited for good, or just til September?
Alas, that means I part company with two bloggers for whom I have high regard: one with whom I am almost always in accord on matters both theological and political; and another whose credentials as an apologist for the Catholic faith I hold to be impeccable, but who seems to be a hyperbolic fool when it comes to commenting on politics (please do read in the comments to that post my friend Don McClarey's excellent retort to such making-the-perfect-the-enemy-of-the-good hyperbole).
I think it's too early in the game to pronounce who "won" and who "lost" at this point. Again, my gut feeling is that Boehner has moved us in the right direction on both abortion and fiscal responsibility, but more work obviously remains to be done. But, all in all, I think it's a fairly promising start for the devoutly Catholic, ardently pro-life Speaker of the House who, we must remember, leads only 1/2 of 1/3 of the branches of the Federal government.
UPDATEMore from Opinionated Catholic.