Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen, both of Politico, wrote Sunday that Speaker John Boehner's line to his conservative critics should be: "You are winning, and winning decisively. So stop your whining." While the victors of some specific political battles of late may be in dispute, they write, "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." Check out a larger experpt below the break, and give us your thoughts in the comments.
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.
“The debate is now on our side of the field,” Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) said from Sioux Falls. “This is just the opening act. But these upcoming debates are not going to be about whether we’re going to reduce the cost and size of government, but how much. That’s very good ground for Republicans to fight on.”
Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker and a 2012 presidential hopeful, told us: “When you see [Democratic governors] Jerry Brown [of California] and you see Andrew Cuomo [of New York] wrestling with spending, and inevitably wrestling with the unions who elect them, you know you’re in a different era.”
Obama himself seems to be responding to the GOP's push, with his senior adviser David Plouffe announcing Sunday that the president will deliver a major speech Wednesday laying out a more aggressive path for deficit reduction — including reform of entitlements, particularly Medicare and Medicaid.
Messaging is all well and good - the GOP seems to have a clear advantage rhetorically - but is that translating into significant policy gains? How do you measure the success of the conservative agenda? Is in synonymous with Republican success?