Drudge: 'Hell Day as Press Turns Vicious' on Federal Budget

This is up on Drudge at the moment:


Yes, the viciousness is being directed at Democrats for not being spendthrift enough.

It's too early to tell whether President Bush and congressional Republicans have outmaneuvered the Democratic congressional majority, but it's looking that way. Old Media doesn't like it, and their inability to successfully buck up their side, one bit.

In the Washington Post's "Dems Blaming Each Other For Failures," Jonathan Weisman and Paul Kane are clearly critical:

When Democrats took control of Congress in January, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) pledged to jointly push an ambitious agenda to counter 12 years of Republican control.

Now, as Congress struggles to adjourn for Christmas, relations between House Democrats and their colleagues in the Senate have devolved into finger-pointing.

..... In the past few weeks, the House has thrown wave after wave of legislation at the Senate -- on energy, Iraq war policy, the housing and mortgage crisis, and middle-income tax cuts offset largely by tax increases on the wealthy.

Most of it has died quietly, a predetermined fate that both sides could foresee before the first vote was cast. Yet they went ahead anyway.

The Wall Street Journal may have a reputation for leaning right, but that's because of its editorials, not its day-to-day reporting. David Rogers' "Intraparty Feuds Dog Democrats, Stall Congress" (link appears to require subscription) is a case in point, as he rips the Dems' inability to get along (bold is mine):

Democrats took control of Congress last January promising a "new direction." A year later, the image that haunts them most is one symbolizing no direction at all: gridlock.

Unfinished work is piling up -- legislation to aid borrowers affected by the housing mess, rescue millions of middle-class families from a big tax increase and put stricter gas-mileage limits on the auto industry. Two months into the new fiscal year, Democrats are still scrambling just to keep the government open.

President Bush and Republicans are contributing to the impasse, but there's another factor: Intraparty squabbling between House Democrats and Senate Democrats is sometimes almost as fierce as the partisan battling.

A commenter at a different post informs me that this is probably an alltime record for budget delay. What I believe is the previous record, the infamous Clinton-Gingrich showdown in 1995, occurred during November of that year.

In the WaPo's "Democrats Bow to Bush's Demands in House Spending Bill," Weisman, who in August 2005 infamously managed to turn news of a strong Employment Situation Report (+207,000 jobs) into a mini-diatribe on Iraq, calls out the Democrats for "surrender" (bold is mine):

Democratic leaders tried to put the best face on their surrender on domestic spending levels, promising that the final bill will reflect their priorities, if not their preferred funding -- "the president's number, our priorities," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). She noted that the bill would increase funding for children's health programs, nutrition and medical research at the National Institutes of Health.

Alexander Bolton at the Hill, in "Dems Cave on Spending," also appeared quite frustrated (bolds are mine):

Senate and House Democrats backed down Wednesday from a spending showdown with President Bush.

The Democrats’ capitulation Wednesday on the total domestic spending level is the latest instance of Bush prevailing on a major policy showdown.

The new majority might have realized it couldn't just keep coasting forever if Old Media had spent the year critically evaluating their performance instead of continually singing their praises and/or making excuses for it.

If the endgame outcome turns out to be as good for the President as now anticipated, maybe, as a show of gratitude, he should make sure that Old Media reporters are on the White House Christmas card and gift lists.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

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