In just about any contest, a score of 40–0 is a pretty impressive trouncing. In football, that’s five touchdowns, a field goal, and a safety—think Ohio State versus Northern Virginia Community College. In baseball it’s almost beyond belief. Ditto basketball. Yet that was the score yesterday in the United States Senate battle between budget offered by House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R–WI) and that presented by President Obama.

The Washington spin on this could be that the Democrats were united, while Republicans suffered five defections from the ranks. Of course, the trouble is that the Democrats were united in opposition to their own President, while the Republican defections meant they held 89 percent of their membership, and one of the defections, Senator Rand Paul (R–KY) thought the Ryan plan did not go far enough.

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