If there's a political assessment to be made of the just-passed budget deal, it seems to be a consensus assessment: the Rs won, the Ds lost, and BHO lost most.
WaPo's Jennifer Rubin sums it up nicely: Boehner kept his party together and kept getting more from the Dems, while the White House stayed on the sidelines. Paul Ryan's unveiling the Big Picture was timed to make the present squabble look like peanuts, which elephants like, of course.
Worse, as WSJ notes (no link, gentle readers, as it's behind a pay wall), BHO angered his own caucus by entering the negotiations late, without a negotiating position or a bargaining chip, and all the while posturing as the only adult in Washington, labeling Congressional Dems as children along with the usual slander of Republicans. And Biden nearly spoiled the deal by talking to the press while things were still in motion. It's kinda Carteresque. Kinda, indeed!
Moreover, polls show what anyone who follows the media would expect: the public would've blamed Rs more than Ds if the government "shut down." That's the lingering effect of two generations' characterization of the GOP as mean. It'll take more than a SWNIDish lifetime for such default settings to be altered, if they ever are.
For all the beating that Boehner took when he ascended to the Speaker's chair, he's off to a very nice start. Meanwhile, his predecessor continues to posture as if she runs the show. And the President continues to make the 2012 election look competitive.