For the life of me I do not understand this. The upshot of the ‘Plan B’ debacle is that John Boehner can’t even deliver Republican votes for his bill, let alone Republican votes for a compromise between Boehner and President Obama. So Boehner simply can’t get anything done. And thus now we have to look to the Senate to break the impasse.
But this makes no sense. The Senate isn’t the problem. With a solid Democratic majority, the Senate could likely pass any bill President Obama endorsed. There could be a filibuster. But given the dynamics of many Republicans seeing that taxes must rise but not wanting to vote themselves to raise them, that seems unlikely. In any case, there appears to be more Republican support for compromise in the Senate in any case. Same differece: the Senate isn’t the problem.
But this just brings us back to the real issue: the House is refusing to function at all. Boehner has no control over the House GOP caucus. He’s reduced himself to a vote counter, a whip — and a pretty poor one at that. And the House must pass whatever bill needs to become law.
The whole charade reminds me of the old story about the man looking for his keys under the lamp post. A guy asks him: Is this where you lost your key? No, says the guy. I lost them down the road. But this is where the light is.
Basically, the same logic.
Someone has to get the House in hand. But it’s proving so hard that they’re now going to try to get the Senate in hand instead, even though that’s never been the problem.
Now, I can read between the lines here too. Perhaps with a bill actually passed in the Senate, this will put more pressure in the House. Or, more likely, the idea is that McConnell needs to do Boehner’s job for him by remote control from the Senate.
There’s a certain logic to that and arguably it’s happened before. But again, it kind of makes the point. The problem is in the House, not the Senate. Pretending otherwise is a bit of a joke.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.