Head over to The Atlantic’s website, where Joshua Green offers a pair of rich analyses of House Speaker John Boehner’s current predicament with the new Tea Party regime which betrayed its own party earlier this month by voting down Boehner’s so-called grand bargain and again Thursday night when another vote failed. See here and here for the analyses.
A seemingly helpless Boehner said this after the vote Thursday:
To the American people, I would say we tried our level best. We tried to do our best for our country, but some people still say no.
Those who said “no” were among numerous far-right conservatives would would vote for nothing less than a budget-balancing provision. Thus, according to The New York Times:
The revised plan would raise the debt ceiling for about six months in exchange for $1 trillion in spending cuts. A second installment of $1.6 trillion — expected to be needed in about six months — would hinge on Congressional approval of a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget, a provision added Friday to lure conservatives.
Yes, here is the ridiculous scenario: after much wrangling from the Tea Party crowd, the debt bill finally passed in the House on Friday following the two aforementioned deaths. The bill was then dealt a swift blow in the Senate. If this weren’t such a serious issue, one might almost laugh. Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin offers one punch line about the compromised plan:
This is the most outrageous suggestion I have heard.
President Obama provides another. He said House Republicans had spent
precious days trying to pass a plan that a majority of Republicans and Democrats in the Senate had already said they wouldn’t vote for.
Apt words since the deal wouldn’t have passed Senate muster anyway, which amounts to a lot of wasted effort by the Tea Party crowd. But hey, at least Tea Party Republicans are consistent in their rather tenuous grip on logic.
The latest as of this afternoon: Boehner said today Republicans were now “fully engaged” with the White House on a negotiation. Were they not “fully engaged” from the start?