Last night, Phil Klein at the DC Examiner pointed out that come the next round of spending cuts, the tenative debt deal now before Congress will set the GOP:
No doubt, we'll start to see more and more opposition from conservative defense hawks to slashing the military budget, while the Norquist crowd will continue to push Republicans to accept more defense cuts to avoid any increase in taxes.
This is likely to be the opening of significant debate among conservatives that will likely continue for decades to come, given the increasing pressure posed by entitlements.
I think this is right. But I also think it's true of the Democrats: they are going to face unprecedented conflicts between their constituencies in the decades to come. Fundamentally, we're bumping up against the willingness of the American public to pay more taxes, or accept spending cuts. Some constituencies are going to lose. Republicans are going to have to decide whether they'd rather have lower taxes, or a stronger military. And Democrats are going to have to decide who they care about more: old people, or poor people.
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