Boehner has already nominated himself as the Republican Party's sacrificial lamb. But on his way out, he could also be a very effective scapegoat, thus sparing both his party and the country at large a whole lot of needless drama and economic instability.
Yes, apparently that's a new word now: "cromnibus." Now, some, editorially-speaking, have been insisting on "CRomnibus" or "Cromnibus," but for the time being here, we've decided that it doesn't qualify for proper-name status in any way.
A Republican Senate is pretty much an iron-clad guarantee of the return of "fiscal cliffs" and "government shutdowns" and "hostage-taking" and all the rest of the budgetary games Republicans are known for playing.
Congress followed up their recent five-week vacation with almost two whole weeks of actually doing their jobs, so to reward themselves they're now going to take off on another vacation. Until mid-November.
If Obama does announce immigration changes, Republicans may decide the issue is bigger than any competence issue, and go right ahead and shut the government down. But this doesn't automatically make the issue a winner for Democrats everywhere in the midterms, of course.
Calling Mandela a Communist or a terrorist shortly after his death is mean-spirited, but it is a bigger condemnation of the moral blindness of much of U.S. foreign policy during the Cold War than it is a criticism of Mandela.
OK, so the latest Republican-manufactured crisis is finally over. But we're on warning that they could do it all over again in just three months. Which gets us to the question of why our government is so dysfunctional.
The Tea Partiers have it all muddled again. They're crying about 50 million uninsured Americans retaining access to doctors under the Affordable Care Act instead of protesting, as they did in their early days, the Republican attempt to strangle Medicare.
Millions of Americans are going to be downright shocked when Obamacare is fully implemented and nothing changes for them. Millions of other Americans will also be pleasantly surprised that things have gotten better for their own health care choices.
Both the Occupiers and the Tea Partiers changed the American political conversation in a large way. Still, it cannot be denied that the Tea Party has moved closer to actually changing the American political system and its laws than the Occupiers have managed.
The Democratic Party lost its spine the moment it decided to cash in on corporate political money. If we don't reverse Citizens United and get the money out of our political system, progressive causes don't stand a chance.
In backing challenges to GOP moderates, the Tea Party looks like a looking-glass version of the "netroots" progressives who backed Howard Dean in 2004 and Ned Lamont's primary challenge to Sen. Joe Lieberman.