By now it is apparent to everyone that Speaker John Boehner has little control over both his tears and his caucus in the House.
Instead of passing his debt ceiling bill Thursday night, Congress instead undertook the task of naming Post Offices. This fact is much sadder than it sounds since naming Post Offices represents a real accomplishment for the John Boehner-led House of Representatives.
Friday would prove to be a marginally better day for Speaker Boehner as he did get his Bill passed. This was accomplished only after some tweaking, more arm twisting, a couple packs of cigarettes and a box of Kleenex. Once the Bill had crossed the 216 vote threshold it was promptly tabled by the Senate with the support of six Republicans.
The ultimate demise of the strictly partisan Republican bill was a certainty. With the outcome a foregone conclusion one might ask, why even bother?
The quick answer is, because that is the way Washington works. Speaker Boehner can now go to his caucus, his base, the brothers Koch and Grover Norquist and say, "look guys we have done everything we can. We even bought pizzas. The Democrats are just being unreasonable."
The games would continue as Senator Harry Reid's bill was voted down by Boehner and his fellow Republicans in the House.
The delays were made necessary by the uncompromising faction of the Republican Caucus, aka the Tea Party. It can be said that John Boehner once held the respect of the Tea Party because he rejected even the word compromise. Unfortunately for America, rejecting compromise also means you have given up your ability to govern and lead. Compromising is what effective leaders do. Not compromising is what my four-year-old daughter tries to do.
President Obama likely wanted Boehner to pass his Bill on Thursday so there would be as much time as possible to negotiate once the Bill was declared DOA in the Senate.
This leads to some political daydreaming. I am often forced to fantasize due to my ever increasing displeasure with the reality of contemporary American politics. While most men who have been married for any length of time fantasize while spending a few extra minutes in the shower, I however do it during a commercial break of Rachel Maddow.
No one really knows how many additional votes John Boehner needed Thursday night, but imagine if you will, minority leader Nancy Pelosi calling a press conference in which she makes the following statement:
It is my understanding that Speaker Boehner is having difficulty getting the votes for his debt ceiling Bill. This is why I called you here tonight. The Democrats in the house will provide the necessary votes to pass the Bill so that it can be quickly sent over to the Senate, where Harry Reid has assured me that it has no chance of passing. In this way we can expedite the process and the adults in Congress can begin some real bi-partisan negotiating and do the right thing for the good of the country and not for the good of future election results. I understand that Speaker Boehner is in a difficult position as he tries to appease the Tea Party members of the Republican caucus. While Republican Senator John McCain refers to them as hobbits and others may call them delusional, I simply choose to call them Speaker Boehner's problem. While they may be his problem it is imperative that I do not allow them to become America's problem.
The news for the last few weeks has been nothing but a persistent and exhausting flow of reports associated with the debt ceiling. Is it too much to ask that we have a little entertainment with that news?
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