We can't say we weren't warned. We got a taste of the dealmaking skills of John Boehner and his senate sidekick, Mitch McConnell, back at teh end of the year with the budget reconciliation package. You remember, the one that somehow made permanent the Bush tax cuts for everyone but the people who actually pay taxes? And gave obama various stimulus(ie pork) funds in exchange for.. well, not shutting the government down, something that apparently keeps Boehner and McConnell not to mention John McCain up most nights with worry. Now the debt ceiling bargain. Let's see. It hasn't even passed and there is a furious war of words flying around between Reid, the White House and Eric Cantor over whether or not tax increases will be part of the commission set up to make further cuts. The dems say yes, Cantor says no. The cuts? Minimal and largely in the future and therefore highly implausible. The debt ceiling extension? Past the 2012 election, freeing obama from having to demonstrate any budget leadership again. So we can say the dems achieved their two main objectives, more money to waste and taking the issue off the table until after the election. Also, most likely they get tax increases. The commission will be under a lot of pressure to produce a consensus product, and in Washington, that rarely means anything but tax increases. What did the republicans get for all their moaning and groaning? Some cosmetic spending cuts, which really aren't cuts at all but in fact are "promised" cuts in the anticipated rate of increase. For that, they got to tear their causcus apart, and pit old time logrollers like Boehner and McConnell against the Tea Party new blood. Oh yeah, they get to escape blame for not raising the debt ceiling. So once agian, republicans are the tax collectors for socialist democrats. Well done, guys. Winners: Obama, Reid. Obama gets his money and can claim he was able to forge compromise. Reid will be more modest but everyone knows he pulled the republicans pants down and paddled them. Bachmann. The fury of the backstabbed Tea Partiers could well fuel her campaign. Losers: Boehner. I can't see him holding on to his Speakership, which for these guys is worse than death. Eric Brutus Cantor is waiting in the wings, quietly sharpening his knife, provided the splatter doesn't get on him too. The American people. We had a chance to get control of the federal budget but our leaders sold us out. Again.