1. I’m glad a deal was struck. I hate Planned Parenthood — you cannot get to the right of me on abortion — but the way ahead on abortion is not the same as the way ahead on the budget. I am for seizing every marginal gain to be had on this issue, but the funding restrictions were only tinkering around at the edges. You want to win on abortion, you have to win 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Thanks to the usurpation of the Supreme Court — and the American people’s continuous, inexplicable tolerance of that — Congress is not really where the pro-life action is. As it stands, vulnerable Senate Democrats ought to be mercilessly reminded in 2012 that their party leader was willing to shut down the U.S. government in order to protect public subsidies for abortion — something that even many moderate pro-choicers oppose.
2. Yes, the deal could have been better. And if it had been twice as good as this one — or ten times as good — it still could have been better.
3. But this is not the deal that matters. This is small potatoes compared to getting the Ryan reforms enacted, especially on entitlements. If Republicans had drawn the line in the sand on this deal, they might have saved the country a few billion dollars. If they draw the line on the Ryan program, they might save the country. That is the real fight. Mind the trillions, and the billions will take care of themselves.