One Ring Circus

It says a lot about the brouhaha created by Bibi Netanyahu’s speech to Congress tomorrow that it’s managed to steal the spotlight away from the slow-motion riot of Republican disarray over DHS appropriations. Normally, watching the party that controls both chambers of Congress tie itself into knots on a fairly straightforward proposition–finding ways to protest an immigration action they are powerless to stop without interrupting precisely those governmental services they claim are needed more than ever–would be an irresistible spectacle. But is seems John Boehner and Mitch McConnell will have a couple of days to work towards their best-case scenario of a separate bill on immigration powers that Obama will veto without all of Washington–much less the whole world–watching. At the moment, the whole subject is absent from the news aggregator I use, which is moderately incredible.

Politico‘s Seung Min Kim convincingly tells us there’s no sign whatsoever of a conservative effort to take away Boehner’s gavel. That tells you everything you need to know about the seriousness of the “revolt” against Boehner’s three-week appropriations stopgap on Friday. The Speaker is now close to having exhausted all remedies other than the pre-ordained clean DHS bill passed with Democratic votes. So that will happen whether or not the Senate can engineer the embarrassing but ultimately meaningless repudiation of Obama’s latest immigration action with the requisite handful of Democratic votes.

In another year, we’d be transfixed with this drama, and in still another year, we might all be obsessing about every angle of the just-concluded CPAC event. Bibi’s already big-footed Washington, even before he arrives.

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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.