Dems Lose Spending Fight

04/09/2011 12:40 am ET | Updated Jun 08, 2011

Republicans got more cuts by pulling their punches on social issues like abortion. Democrats gained public relations points in the final hours of the budget showdown by blaming the Republican social agenda for an impending shutdown, but in the end they gave up more ground on spending cuts in exchange for postponing votes on the GOP policy riders.

President Obama acknowledged after the last-minute deal that the planned cuts were "painful" and not what he would have preferred. No kidding. This new plan is nearly $80 billion cheaper than the budget he had originally proposed.

GOP leaders shrewdly staked their negotiations on social changes they probably knew would never fly. By "sacrificing" those aims in the end game they clearly won more cuts from Democrats. And to pacify their conservative base they also won Senate agreement for upcoming votes on proposals such as defunding Planned Parenthood.

If this debate was about pushing Obama to accept more cuts than what many Democrats wanted, it looks like Republicans won.

Craig blogs daily for CQ Roll Call