There's so much to write about in this current debt ceiling debate I really don't know where to begin. Therefore The Brody File will begin a series of analysis pieces. Let's begin shall we?
One of the biggest questions here is should lawmakers vote on principle, practicality or both? In other words, for Tea Party legislators its great to adhere to principle and well they should. But the truth of the matter is that you have a Democratic president and a Democratic Senate. There's only so much you're going to get at this time in history.
You simply don't have the numbers to turn this country into Tea Party nation right now. That's where practicality comes in. The Boehner deal seems to offer both principle (no new revenue) and practicality (a smaller spending cut package than hoped for and a chance to put Obama in front of the American people on this issue again during the 2012 presidential election).
Granted, for those congressmen who signed the "Cut, Cap and Balance" pledge this vote would essentially break that pledge and leave them vulnerable to the flip flop label come Election time. But they made that bed and now will have to sleep in it.
The real issue the Tea Party legislators need to look at here is the fact that while the gains made in 2010 were extremely significant and changed the makeup of the House and the course of conversation in Washington, there is still a lot more work to be done.
Another big Tea Party splash in November 2012 may indeed lead to a new Republican president and Senate. That would then give Republicans the true ability to put up or shut up (Even though the reality is you need 60 votes in the Senate to really accomplish anything).
To put this in football terms, maybe the Tea Party legislators need to kick the field goal instead of going for it on 4th down. You usually go for it when it's "4th and inches." But since the Tea Party is fighting against a strong defense (Obama and Senate Democrats) the situation is not 4th and inches.
As much as they’d like to play smash-mouth football, the Tea Party simply doesn’t have enough big offensive lineman YET to run the football for those last few inches.
They still have some convincing to do across America in order to increase their legislative numbers. So it's more like 4th and 5, which leads Coach Boehner pleading with his team to kick the field goal.
Think of it this way. When President Obama took office, he was quarterbacking a march down the field the opposite way. The Tea Party has now taken control of the political football (a.k.a. the national conversation) and is now on offense and marching down the field the other way.