Today’s Wonkbook (from Evan Soltas and Ezra Klein) tells the story of the Republican reluctance to go to conference on the budget, and concludes:

And Senate Democrats aren’t having it. After years of Republicans complaining about secret deals and hammering Senate Democrats for betraying regular order, they’re calling the GOP’s bluff. That’s why Reid intends to move towards conference this morning. Either Republicans will agree, and regular order will proceed — which will likely mean no deal, and which will then give House Democrats a chance to throw their bombs — or Senate Republicans will filibuster, and that will be the end of the regular order talking point.

My prediction: no, it won’t be the end of that talking point. We’ll still see Republicans claiming that Democrats are irresponsible on the budget because the Senate didn’t pass a budget resolution for four years.

And they’ll make that point primarily in the Republican-aligned partisan press, where they’ll rarely get any pushback on it. Remember, the “four years” of not passing a “budget” included the time after the Budget Control Act was passed, which in addition to being far more important than a budget resolution (the BCA was law; budget resolutions are not) actually did have the word “Budget” right there in the title. But that didn’t stop the talking point, any more than some Republicans refrained from making those hilarious teleprompter jokes even when they were, themselves, reading those jokes off of a teleprompter.

Generally, I continue to not be a big fan of the “if we do this then they won’t be able to say that” line of reasoning. It can work, but usually? Not really. Especially in cases such as this in which we’re talking about rhetoric that’s mainly aimed at one’s own strong supporters in order to give them something to feel aggrieved about.

[Crossed-posted at A plain blog about politics]

Jonathan Bernstein

Jonathan Bernstein is a political scientist who writes about American politics, especially the presidency, Congress, parties, and elections.