It seems to me that Republicans often forget how to play hardball, the current budget fight being a good example.

In my opinion, the Republicans came away with very little in the budget deal over the weekend.  Yes, I know the deal includes $38 billion in spending cuts, but contrary to some media reports, it was not a record, and in any case, it's a drop in bucket considering the deficits in recent years.

The deal also included a promise by Democrats to allow Senate votes on defunding Planned Parenthood and repealing Obamacare, but that's of little value, because even if Republicans prevail on those votes, President Obama is sure to veto both measures.  The outcome is pre-ordained.

The GOP controls only the House, while the Democrats control the Senate and White House.  Under those circumstances, the Republicans best hope to get significant concessions from the liberals is non-cooperation with Democrats unless significant cuts are made.  If that means a government shutdown, let it happen.

Americans now understand that spending is out of control.   And there is one big difference between now and 1995, when Republicans were blamed for a shutdown.  Thanks to talk radio, the internet and cable news,  there are alternatives to the liberal mainstream media, which means Democrats will get their fair share of blame if a shutdown occurs.

And maybe, just maybe, the fear of getting blamed might cause the liberals to be the ones who make significant concessions.

It's time for Republicans to play hardball.