No Rest for the Wicked

You’d think that having yielded entirely to the Senate in resolving the fiscal crisis, the Republicans controlling the House would have a day or so to lick their wounds, explain to their staffs why they nearly voted to get rid of their health insurance, and then explain to constituents why they were behaving like characters in a Marx Brothers movie.

But no: for reasons of their own (basically the need to limit Ted Cruz and Mike Lee to one opportunity to gum up the works with objections to unanimous consent agreements), the Senate is reportedly insisting that the House vote first on the emerging plan. Perhaps another motive is to ensure that Senate Republicans don’t go out on a limb which House Republicans proceed to saw off, with primary challenges waiting in the wings for “Obamacare Funders.”

But in any event, this maneuver almost certainly means John Boehner has privately agreed to waive the so-called Hastert Rule and put the Senate deal on the floor, allowing it to be passed by mainly Democratic votes and allowing his most restive and unhappy troops to bow one more time to the almighty power of Heritage Action, the conservative blogosphere, and the Tea Folk by voting against a return to normal life.

It should be a moment rich in bathos and unintentional comedy.

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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.