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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Creamer: GOP Leverage on Debt Freeze Damaged by Deal

Despite congressional Republicans assurances to the contrary, last week’s budget deal, which jettisoned the tea party’s treasured anti-abortion measures, also weakens their leverage to force cuts in Medicare and Medicaid, according to political strategist Robert Creamer, in his HuffPo post on the topic.
The GOP cave on women’s health clinics, family planning — and Planned Parenthood was a result of recognizing that the public was against them 2-1 and that they needed to compromise at this stage to appear “reasonable.” But the main factor in forcing the comprise, according to Creamer, was their lapdog devotion to making the fat cats happy:

Most important for the future is the role of the real base of the Republican Party — Wall Street and Big Business. The Republican CEO caucus — and the Chamber of Commerce — are hell bent on destroying unions, shrinking the public sector, lowering tax rates for millionaires, etc.
Frankly, they could care less about the right wing social agenda. In fact, they view social conservatives as cannon fodder to win elections. And once they had gotten all that they could on the economic side, they were not the least bit interested in jeopardizing their political fortunes or the economy simply to advance the Tea Party agenda…Apparently the Chamber and the CEO class’s chief operative, Karl Rove, weighed in heavily against a Republican shutdown.
…The Republican House Budget Chairman, Paul Ryan has proposed…about $4.2 trillion of tax cuts over the next decade for corporations and the wealthy. In other words, Ryan has proposed pulling the plug on Medicare, Medicaid and food support in order to give tax breaks to millionaires.

So now the Republicans will put their declining leverage into their fall-back position to appease the Tea Party — a cap on federal spending as a percentage of the gross domestic product. As Creamer explains it,

Holding the debt ceiling increase hostage to their radical economic demands is pretty much equivalent to a radical suicide bomber threatening to blow himself and everyone else up, if they don’t agree to his radical religious demands.
…While the Wall Street/CEO Republicans really want to wring as much as possible out of Democrats in the way of less regulation, a smaller public sector and lower taxes for them, they are not likely to knowingly allow the Tea Party extremists to blow up the credit markets and the economy….And though the Republican political class would love for the economy to stagnate between now and 2012 — they certainly don’t want to be caught with their hands on the grenade pin if the economy blows sky high.

As Creamer puts it, “The deal that was struck last week demonstrated clearly that the CEO/Wall Street faction of the Republican Party — and its political elite — are not yet prepared to allow the inmates to run the asylum.”

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