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Come on, John! I dare you to shut down the government just because we’re funding Planned Parenthood!

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John Boehner and his Republican Party were the short-term winners in last night’s budget deal to avoid a shutdown of the federal government.

In a sense, Boehner & Co. won by not holding firm on their bid to cancel federal funding of Planned Parenthood. Had they refused to buckle on that issue and thereby allowed for a shutdown, progressives would have pilloried them mercilessly — and probably to great political effect.

Most Americans would have quickly come to the realization that federal funding of Planned Parenthood has nothing directly to do with abortion. The backlash against the GOP likely would have been considerable, especially among women.

In the final analysis, then, President Obama saved Boehner and the Republicans from themselves. The president told them there would be no deal if they persisted in the matter of Planned Parenthood. Boehner wisely recognized that the grief he would get from fanatics in his party for caving would be preferable to the thrashing they’d all get from Americans in general for not caving.

Check HERE for a fascinating account of how the Planned Parenthood showdown played out.

POSTSCRIPT: By the way, my prediction of yesterday morning (HERE) that a shutdown would be averted proved, of course, to be prescient.

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