Here’s the unvarnished pitch House Speaker John Boehner would love to make to his conservative critics if he could just let it fly: “You are winning, and winning decisively. So stop your whining.”
And here’s the unvarnished truth about that pitch: Boehner would be spot on.
The winners and losers of this weekend’s 11th-hour budget deal may be in dispute. But the broader trajectory of politics, stretching back to the spring of 2009, is not. The Republican — and, yes, the tea party — agenda is not only ascendant, it’s driving the debate over reshaping government at every level.
Jubilant top Republicans told POLITICO in interviews that they plan to use the momentum from the budget fight to take a hard line with President Barack Obama in the fiscal fights of the months ahead. And the GOP leaders said they believe their new advantage in the national debate will lift the party’s presidential candidates — none of whom right now looks capable of beating Obama.