Crisis Averted! For Weeks!

As you have probably heard by now, given the unearthly din of hype, the House completed its clumsy performance of “Ideologues on (Thin) Ice” late last night and approved the Senate-enacted tax bill by a 257-167 margin. Democrats split 172-16 in favor of the measure, and Republicans voting against it 85-151. The number two and number three members of the House Republican conference, Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy, voted “nay” while Speaker Boehner cast a rare vote of “yea,” joined by Paul Ryan. All this occurred after a day of drama in which House GOPers threatened to amend the bill (effectively killing it until the next Congress) to add spending cuts earlier passed by the House in one of its Kabuki exercises aimed at shortcircuiting defense sequesters.

So now we’ll hear hymns of praise to Boehner for defusing the crisis he helped create. Stocks may well jump when markets open, before sagging (mark my words) at “concerns” that the whole circus will come right back to town in anticipation of the debt limit breach and sequestration delay expiration in late February/early March.

Above all the noise we’ll hear Republicans in both Houses pledging to make that next confrontation the Real Deal, plunging the global economy into chaos and blighting hundreds of millions of lives if they don’t get the disabling of the New Deal and Great Society programs they’ve been promising themselves and their base voters since 2010.

Should be quite the day for posturing.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.