Are Social Conservatives The Budget Deal Losers?

Did the GOP toss social conservatives under the bus when it gave away the Planned Parenthood rider?

In his wrapup post about the budget deal, David Weigel makes this point about the Planned Parenthood rider:

It’s a lousy deal for social conservatives, and that’s important. In the very first test of their strength in the new Washington, they have been bargained away, yet again. I don’t think the GOP had much of a choice. Just as Democrats let the argument about economics slip away from them, Republicans were almost hysterically flat-footed on Planned Parenthood.

Conservatives started with a knowledge problem, and they never got past it. As far as the pro-life movement is concerned, Planned Parenthood is synonymous with “abortion.” That might be true, too, among Americans who don’t use Planned Parenthood. But because Republicans started a fight about this, Democrats – and reporters – started saying things that never usually make it into the press, like the facts about the Hyde Amendment, and the facts about how Planned Parenthood is reimbursed for health care. Sen. Jon Kyl made the defining Republican stumble of the debate, saying on the Senate floor that “90 percent” of Planned Parenthood’s work was abortion. Within hours, his office clarified that this was not intended as a fact, an odd thing to say at a moment when Washington was focused on numbers, numbers, and more numbers.

So there will be things social conservatives like in this continuing resolution, but some of what they wanted was bargained away. That benefited Democrats, but it benefited economic conservatives even more. On the floor of the House yesterday, Rep. Steny Hoyer tried to score points on Republicans by paraphrasing Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, a possible 2012 presidential candidate who’s been saying that there should be a “social truce” until the economy and the debt are righted. The implication of what Hoyer said is that Democrats, too, want to tackle the debt, and think the era of stimulus spending is over.

More significantly, it seems that given the choice between holding the line on something vitally important to social conservatives and making a deal that cut at least some spending, Boehner and the GOP Leadership sided with the fiscal conservatives. In exchange for giving up the Planned Parenthood rider, they got an extra billion dollars of spending cuts. One wonders if social conservatives will come to view this as the thirty piece of silver.

There’s been much talk since last night about how this deal might affect the relationship between the GOP and the Tea Party. Of just as much interest is  how social conservatives will react to the fact that, once again, they’ve been thrown under the bus.

 

FILED UNDER: Congress, Deficit and Debt, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed for too young in July 2021.

Comments

  1. Darren Pope says:

    I’m a social liberal, but a firm fiscal conservative. Who speaks for people like me? No one. Its all or nothing with both parties. There is no compromise. How about we go beyond allowing gays in the military, legalize gay marriage, stop beating the abortion issue to death at least temporarily since it is already legal and unfortunately thriving, and also legalize marijuana, but at the same time STOP SPENDING AMERICA INTO OBLIVION??? This is where the left loses me, as much as I agree with them on many issues they seem to be simple-minded clowns who just can’t understand that we cannot keep spending more money than we take in. We can’t keep supporting people who refuse to do anything to better themselves. Its past time for serious entitlement reform…and for term limits. We can’t keep giving billions in aid to countries who hate us. Its time to cut the backstabbers off once and for all and let them fend for themselves. Its time to grow up and startt being fiscally responsibel…and to institute term limits.

  2. superdestroyer says:

    Who cares if the social conservative are loser? Demographics alone has already determined that social conservative will have zero say in the future.

    \There is a chance that more than 50% of voters will resent high taxes and massive government spending. There is no chance that enough suburban middle class whites will vote strictly on social issues to ever effect the outcome of any relevant election. The social conservatives would be better off giving up on their unwinnable issue and focus on restraining the size, scope, and power of the government.

  3. john personna says:

    Remember when the Tea Party said their common ground was spending and budgets? That social issues could come later?

    Whoever drove this PP sideshow didn’t get that memo.

  4. michael reynolds says:

    Of course they’re the losers, they’re always the losers.

    The GOP has three wings: Money, Bombs and Jesus. The relationship between the Money wing and the Jesus wing is one of contempt on the part of Money. The Money wing only has a single interest: not surprisingly, it’s money. Now, in order to get more money they’ll play along with the Bombs wing and pretend to give a damn about the Jesus wing, but their thinking never moves past money.

    The Tea Party is just the latest iteration of the Money wing co-opting the Jesus wing for the purpose of serving the interests of money. Of course what’s extra fun is that the Money wing is getting richer every day while the Jesus wing gets poorer, but the saps are too dumb to look past their own abortion obsession and see how they’re being played.

    I know the Jesus wing are, by definition, the dummies of the GOP, but how many times are they going to play 3 card monte before they figure it out?

  5. Aidan says:

    I think the unemployed are the biggest budget deal losers.

  6. superdestroyer says:

    MR

    Do you really think that there is any room in the Democratic party for social conservatives. Do you really think that the anti-abortion crowd could ever get along with the Congressional Black Caucus or the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

    The problems for the social conservatives is how few people actually care about such issues. Blacks may go to church more than whites but always vote their own narrow economic interest.

    Social conservatives are about the only voters who do not vote their own narrow economic interest and they suffer for it.

  7. anjin-san says:

    but at the same time STOP SPENDING AMERICA INTO OBLIVION??? This is where the left loses me, as much as I agree with them on many issues they seem to be simple-minded clowns who just can’t understand that we cannot keep spending more money than we take in.

    It’s noteworthy that there was no tea party movement back during Bush’s vast expansion of the size, cost, and power of the federal government. Back when “conservatives” were taking us from a surplus to huge deficits. Indeed, the party line then was “deficits don’t matter”. But somehow the folks on the right who were cheering at the top of their lungs while this was going on are not “simple-minded clowns who just can’t understand that we cannot keep spending more money than we take in”.

    No, they were high minded patriots. Democrats who warned we we were headed for a cliff were asked why they hated America…

  8. michael reynolds says:

    Do you really think that there is any room in the Democratic party for social conservatives.

    No, I don’t. I think social conservatives need to figure out that abortion is here to stay, and gays will be fully integrated into society, and we’re not going to have a Christian Taliban. I think in some ways they are the equivalent of segregationists: fighting a battle they can’t and shouldn’t win. Until that happens, no, there’s no place for them with Democrats.

    I think they’re aging out and will eventually dwindle away. In the meantime you have a bunch of people living on Social Security or working jobs barely getting by and voting in ways that only benefit people who think they’re something to scrape off their shoes. Incidentally the identical pattern of whites in the south since Reconstruction.

  9. ponce says:

    Doesn’t seem like much of deal for the fiscal conservatives, either.

    Cutting $27 billion ($12 billion were already in the recently passed CR) from a budget with a projected deficit of $1.5 trillion?

  10. superdestroyer says:

    Ponce,

    At least the Republicans got some budget cuts given the Democrats control of the Senate and the Executive Branch. Image what spending would be if Nancy Pelosi was still Speaker and all of the Bush tax cuts would have been allowed to expire. The deficit would probably still be $1.5 trillion but with much higher spending.

  11. DC Loser says:

    SD – Tell me what cuts in overall spending the GOP had when they controlled the WH and both chambers of Congress? Give me one fiscal year when that happened under GWB?

  12. Ernieyeball says:

    DP sez: “Its past time…for term limits.”

    We have term limits. They are called elections.
    Apparently DP and others of his ilk seem to think that if duly elected office holders do not kowtow to a particular political agenda they must be removed from office by some arbitrary measure of time.
    The fact that this makes all term limited office holders Lame Ducks in their final incumbency (responsible to no one) is not a concern.
    Term limits also restrict voters from balloting for the candidate of their choice. A clear restriction on an electors political freedom.
    Another name I have for Term Limit advocates is Control Freaks!

  13. ponce says:

    “if Nancy Pelosi was still Speaker and all of the Bush tax cuts would have been allowed to expire. The deficit would probably still be $1.5 trillion but with much higher spending. ”

    SD, extending the Bush tax cuts this year added $400 billion to the deficit.

    $400,000,000,000.

    The “Right” and the “Left” were pretend fighting over 10% of that.

  14. Hey Norm says:

    Social conservatives got run over by the bus because they are being unreasonable. The Hyde amendment prevents federal $ being spent on abortion. Preventing pap smears is just stupid.
    And let’s clarify one thing…the republicans have done nothing but add to the deficit since November. This 38.5B doesn’t make much of a dent in the extension of the Bush Tax Cut extension. And it cuts jobs…so much for a jobs agenda.
    The tea bag manifesto put out by ryan last week expands the debt too until someone decides to eliminate Medicare. Doh… More culture warfare.
    Fiscal frauds.

  15. G.A.Phillips says:

    The big losers are the children that will be murdered by their parents with the aid of liberal morality, liberal doctors, and our tax money.

  16. Wiley Stoner says:

    A better question Doug, is did the Administration favor an abortion mill over the welfare of our Military. That the GOP took those riders off the bill is only temporary. The people who receive those ill gotten tax dollars will be called before committees to justify those dollars. What will you bet Planned Abortion does not get funded in the 2012 budget? Did you know Planned Abortion donated more than $1 million dollars to the donks in the last election? Kind of like the union huh? They get the largess of tax dollars and the donks get a kickback for their support. Sounds like corruption. Not to Reynold though. Donks are incapable of corruption in his alien eyes.

  17. Wiley Stoner says:

    Anjin, Bush spent a lot. But all of his budgets would have fit within Obama’s first year budget. Is there something about a trillion dollar deficit you cannot understand. This President has spent more money than all the Presidents who came before him. When you spend like Obama you are either incompetent or it is a deliberate try to cause financial ruin. Either way it must be stopped. I suggest impeachment for failure to get congressional approval to use military force against a nation which posed no threat to the United States.

  18. wr says:

    Yes, you go suggest that, Zels. We all know that presidents are supposed to invent phony intelligence to get congress to go along with them on using military force against a nation which posed to threat to the US.

  19. An Interested Party says:

    The big losers are the children that will be murdered by their parents with the aid of liberal morality, liberal doctors, and our tax money.

    Perhaps you would care to explain how this deal leads to that…

  20. Jessi says:

    More significantly, it seems that given the choice between holding the line on something vitally important to social conservatives and making a deal that cut at least some spending, Boehner and the GOP Leadership sided with the fiscal conservatives.

    I don’t think that’s correct either. IMO Boehner mainly went for political concessions and not major social or fiscal ones.

    The Dems managed to blunt Boehner’s non-defense-discretionary spending cuts by redirecting more than half the spending cuts to defense and mandatory spending instead. They placated Boehner giving him his D.C. voucher pet project earmark and a bunch of concessions he sees as politically advantageous to the GOP. Some examples: senate floor votes on defunding Title X and HCR (he knows these will fail be he thinks they’ll hurt Dems in some marginal districts); a number of audits of the President’s signature legislation and priorities like HCR, EPA Clean Air Act enforcement and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (I’m not sure this was much of a capitulation as Issa was already going to essential do this all anyway). He also got a small sop to the SoCons with the D.C. local tax abortion ban (the Dems only managed to lift that in late 2009).

  21. Herb says:

    “IMO Boehner mainly went for political concessions and not major social or fiscal ones.”

    Sounds like Boehner to me…

  22. superdestroyer says:

    ponce,

    Presdient Bush left office with 20% approval ratings and the Republicans were voted out of office in Congress due to uncontrolled spending. Even moveon.org was against government spending when the Republicans were doing it.

    However, the core groups of the Democratic Party want more spending and have zero interest in how high taxes will go or the negative effects of massive deficits.

    The Democrats are more willing to raise taxes by $1.5 trillion instead of cutting $30 billion out of the federal budget. It seems that progressives will not be happy until the the middle class no longer exist in the U.S. and that the current middle class white families are as poor, uneducated, and violent as minorities.

  23. Axel Edgren says:

    “This President has spent more money than all the Presidents who came before him.”

    Yeah, but he didn’t do it without reason.

    “When you spend like Obama you are either incompetent or it is a deliberate try to cause financial ruin.”

    Or maybe you didn’t have a choice.

    No one likes spending money on exterminators, but if you don’t pay up to get rid of the problem the lumber in your house fails and you f**king die, genius.