Some Republicans seem not to understand basic math. Kevin McCarthy has a 4 vote (count ’em, four votes) edge in the House. That’s all.

“Tonight we’re going to do something we haven’t done before,” McCarthy said before the debt ceiling vote. “Tonight, we are going to vote for the largest savings in American history – over $2.1 trillion. That’s what we’re voting for. Every great nation that has overextended itself has collapsed.” He won, but barely.

Given populist and Freedom Caucus rebels who will never be satisfied with anything, he had to go to Dems to get the job done on the bill. And guess what? The Dems don’t sign on to a deal for nothing. This is politics 101, not to mention rudimentary logic.

“To say we didn’t push [the White House] to the brink, to say that we didn’t maximize negotiations, it’s just an uninformed position,” Republican Rep Graves of Louisiana told Fox. “It’s just really unfortunate that people have put us in the situation.” Bingo. People, meaning voters.

Senator Lindsay Graham, who had some problems with the deal, admitted this, “The agreement includes a commitment that the Senate will not be limited in its ability to respond to emerging or ongoing national security threats, including Russia’s unjust and unprovoked war in Ukraine, challenges posed by China with respect to our economy and the growing threat to Taiwan, and protecting vital interests and partners in the Middle East,” Graham’s office said.

Ace political analyst Howard Kurtz opined, “President Biden and Kevin McCarthy have been the grownups in the room, vowing from day one that there would be no default. They hammered out a deal that gave some political cover to both sides, enabling Biden to say he protected most of the programs he passed in the last two years and McCarthy to say he had won more significant spending cuts than in any previous debt-ceiling fight.”

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Thus nobody gets what they want but most get what they can live with. Welcome to a 50-50 polarized democracy where either side rarely gets the whole enchilada. To ask for it in this political environment is to, as WFB reminded us in another context, attempt to immanentize the eschaton. In non-WFB English, it is to ask for heaven on Earth.

Since the beginning of this Congress McCarthy has been taking hits from sideline Caesars as he tries to do the adult heavy lifting of government. He’s gone after radical Dems with hammer and fire and has played hardball and succeeded on a number of issues. On this debt issue he didn’t even get PR rolled, as so many other Republican speakers have before him. But for some pathological naysayers it isn’t enough.

So, the bottom line is that those whining about how Republicans lost on the deal need to ensure in the next Congress that Republicans have several dozen more seats. If the speaker doesn’t have more to work with then Republicans will get the same kind of deal we got now. Unless, of course, we own the White House in January of 2025.