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Johnson Will Vote for Budget Deal

by Jerry Bader

I know this is going to be unpopular with the Tea Party base, but I agree with this decision.  Johnson says the good outweighs the bad in this deal. If he's talking purely policy, I'm not sure I agree. I think there is a lot of bad in here. But he's right about the importance to the economy of stabilizing the budget process and avoiding shutdowns.

What he doesn't mention is the reality of divided government that Congressman Paul Ryan and others have spoken much of lately. When Democrats have the Senate and the White House and Republicans the House, there is virtually no chance of Ryan/Murray-like negotiations producing something conservatives consider more good than bad.

Many conservatives see this reality as Republicans compromising their principles and therefore cannot be trusted to govern as conservatives if they do get both houses in 2014. Wisconsin has already proven this wrong. Republicans, who had only the Wisconsin State Assembly in 2007, were accused by conseratives of giving up too much, even though they had no leverage to extract anything more from Democrats.

And given all levers of state power, Republicans led by Governor Scott Walker led one of the great conservative reform movements ever. That doesn't mean it will happen that way if Republicans win back the Senate and keep the House in 2014. And I understand conservative skepticism. But forcing the issue here without the leverage and causing another shutdown would accomplish nothing other than depriving Republicans the chance in 2015 to prove they deserve conservative's trust.