Budget Deal: The People Get Rolled

Is the president's team saving the big fight for next year?

Despite several ugly recent episodes and considerable movement by conservative activists to defund it, federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and National Public Radio survived an 11th hour deal on a spending bill to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year.

Everybody loves red meat for the base, and what better issues are there for liberals to go to the mats over than things like funding for abortions, liberal media or economy slowing enivronmental concepts?

The continuation of funding for public broadcasting is one of several significant victories for Democrats regarding the policy riders in the bill still emerging 12 hours after Democratic and Republican leaders struck a deal to avert government shutdown.

Maybe the Democrats were honing their manipulations for the big budget fight still to come - the brand new, 2012 spending plan to be hammered out in the months to come.

Another Democratic victory: of dozens of riders included in a House-passed spending bill curtailing strict new environmental regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency, zero were included in the final deal.

And it could be the GOP leadership will be happy to use those same issues again, too.

Several other controversial policy riders, including one to defund Planned Parenthood, America’s leading abortion provider, were used by Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner to secure steeper spending cuts in negotiations.

Maybe no one got rolled here, except voters, of course, who deserve to be talked to honestly, not gamed.