Pending catastrophe, the jig is just about up.
Having made one last demonstration of the fighting spirit in front of his caucus, declaring that he would “rather throw a grenade than catch a grenade,” John Boehner watched his coalition melt away. By relatively early in the evening last night, once it became clear that there were no votes for his way of going down swinging, the Speaker cancelled his planned debt limit response.
Brian Beutler reported that Boehner will be sending over a “clean message” to ease the path of any Senate deal. We will approach the debt ceiling again sooner than anyone would like, but the full faith and credit of the United States of America shall remain unquestioned for a while longer.
Perhaps now that the Republican-triggered crisis that has consumed the past two weeks will soon be past, focus can eventually turn to the full-scale disaster that has been the official launch of Obamacare. As you may remember, that is the “sugar” Ted Cruz warned would sap Americans of their will to resist socialism once the bells rang in October 1st.
President Obama has already indicated that reviving immigration reform will be at the top of his priority list once global catastrophe has been delayed. Immigration is perhaps second only to Obamacare in its ability to rally the Tea Party faithful in exerting pressure on Washington leadership, so we will see if they have any gas left in the tank to make a productive contribution to the debate.
In the meantime, and while the last parts of the debt ceiling puzzle fall into place, it is perhaps worth revisiting once more the sagacious advice of Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke, on how an opposition party should conduct itself:
they who engage in opposition are under as great obligations, to prepare themselves to control, as they who serve the crown are under, to prepare themselves to carry on the administration: and that a party formed for this purpose, do not act like good citizens nor honest men, unless they propose true, as well as oppose false measures of government. Sure I am they do not act like wise men unless they act systematically, and unless they contrast, on every occasion, that scheme of policy which the public interest requires to be followed, with that which is suited to no interest but the private interest of the prince or his ministers.
Cunning men (several such there are among you) will dislike this consequence, and object, that such a conduct would support, under the appearance of opposing, a weak and even a wicked administration; and that to proceed in this manner would be to give good counsel to a bad minister, and to extricate him out of distresses that ought to be improved to his ruin. But cunning pays no regard to virtue, and is but the low mimic of wisdom. It were easy to demonstrate what I have asserted concerning the duty of an opposing party, and I presume there is no need of labouring to prove, that a party who opposed, systematically, a wise to a silly, an honest to an iniquitous, scheme of government, would acquire greater reputation and strength, and arrive more surely at their end, than a party who opposed occasionally, as it were, without any common system, without any general concert, with little uniformity, little preparation, little perseverance, and as little knowledge or political capacity.