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For the Sake of Repeal, Support the Deal

9:40 AM, Dec 12, 2013 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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Let me add a word to my comments from Tuesday night supporting the budget deal.

Debt Deal

I continue to believe that, as a matter of policy, the defense increase—which at least begins to undo the very considerable damage from a wildly and disproportionately anti-defense sequester—swamps in importance everything else in the deal. Everything else is basically a wash. The defense increase is a real plus.

I continue to believe that, as a matter of politics, the deal is very good for Republicans. If passed, it takes another government shutdown off the table, and allows Republicans to focus on fighting President Obama rather than each other. In particular, it allows Republicans to focus on Obamacare.

And so I believe this is a good deal for conservatives. Let me put it this way: Even if you're a conservative who cares less than I do about defense and doesn't give much of a hoot about helping out the GOP as a whole, you should support or acquiesce in this deal. Building support for the delay, dismantling, and repeal of Obamacare is the most important domestic policy item on the conservative agenda. If conservatives defeat this deal, they're ensuring that at least for the next month—but maybe for longer—they'll be helping the administration in its desperate effort to distract from Obamacare and will be allowing the media, and to some degree the nation, to talk instead about a potential government shutdown and GOP infighting.

So, to my fellow conservatives: This may not have been the deal you'd have negotiated. But it now serves the cause of conservatism to approve it, move on, and re-focus on Obamacare. 

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