Former Alabama Rep. Artur Davis sees the debt deal as a bad one for Obama:
… it is a stunningly good deal for Republicans and the opposite for Barack Obama.
There are dissenting opinions, of course (see also Nate Silver and Jay Newton-Small). Who knows how this plays out for Obama, but this deal is certainly bad for America — lack of jobs is our #1 problem and the deal on the table does less than nothing to create jobs — and when it comes to Republicans, indications are this isn't such an all fired great deal for them either.
John Boehner is having to misrepresent the details as he tries to roundup votes from his caucus; you don't need to do that when you've brought home a plum. A major reason this will be a bitter pill for Republicans to swallow is evident from Ezra Klein's list of winners and losers in the debt deal … the Pentagon is at the top of the “losers” list. That's solid Republican territory about to take a big financial hit:
A year ago, defense spending was supposed to be sacrosanct. We even had a term of art for how to cut spending without touching defense: “non-defense discretionary spending.” But no one takes it on the chin the way the Pentagon does in this deal. They’re getting $350 billion in immediate cuts and then, if the trigger goes off, another $600 billion in cuts over the next 10 years. They’ve also been jammed into a structurally dangerous position: With taxes off the table, defense cuts have become the concession Republicans can give Democrats in these deals. If that dynamic holds over the next few years, this may not be the last time the Pentagon gets the knife.
Voting for these current and future cuts in defense spending will be particularly tough for Republican freshmen Martha Roby (R, AL-02) and Mo Brooks (R, AL-05) whose districts depend on the Pentagon for a huge amount of federal dollars … dollars that equal jobs … and who happen to sit on the House Armed Services Committee. It will also put Rep. Mike Rogers of the House Committee on Homeland Security in a well-deserved tight spot. Ditto Jeff Sessions (R) in the Senate.
I can't wait to see how Alabama Republicans vote on this deal … and how they justify those votes.