With the Republicans throwing poison pills into the budget mix every time the Democrats agree to more budget cuts, we shouldn't lose sight of the GOP's real goal in this budget battle. It's tied to the Republicans 30 year race to the bottom strategy, which goes something like this: "Even though your policies and track record stink, try and make the other guy look worse."
With their recent track record (remember Bush?), to win elections the Republican party needs to set a new political narrative. Here's how this one will play out.
The Republicans want to drag the budget issue out so they can tell the American people that under President Obama the Democrats have created a perpetual state of fiscal chaos. This is why the GOP offers up gimmicks, like a one week spending bill, while ignoring the real sources of our spending mess today. If you do it over and over again it helps spin the "fiscal chaos" narrative.
Specifically, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Republicans will say their path is the only correct path to fiscal sanity - all the while blaming President Obama for a budget mess he did not create.
Then they'll say that President Obama can't work with Republicans, and that we need someone who can manage our nation ... hoping America forgets about what Bush and the GOP did the last time they were in power.
No matter how this budget battle turns out today, remember one thing. It's all about the narrative.
It always has been.