At the last possible moment, the dysfunctional
That raises a big question about what happens in January when another government shutdown will loom, and in February when the debt ceiling will need to be raised again. Given the tea partiers' lack of repentance for the shenanigans that cost the U.S. economy $25 billion, the most likely answer is that we will very soon be going through the same reckless, costly brinkmanship again.
A lot of people, including President
Nevertheless, if a deal can be reached between congressional leaders and the president in the next two months, House Speaker
Could Boehner pull that off again and still retain the speakership? Right now, the radicals are praising Boehner for sticking with them as long as he did (and sticking it to the country in the process). That admiration would quickly wane, however, if Boehner agrees to a budget compromise that doesn't please them (pretty much a certainty, since any deal that Obama would sign on to is certain not to please them.)
The tea party caucus has been appeased for the last three weeks, not subdued. Yes, they lost a fight and, yes, sane Republicans such as
A new Pew Research Center survey found that a mere 30% of tea party voters were "very concerned" about the shutdown. Little or no concern was expressed by 37% of them. Even more telling, 52% of tea partiers saw no reason to raise the debt ceiling at all, while an additional 15% figured the country could go for several weeks before the debt limit would need to be hiked.
Those numbers are very different for most other Americans, majorities of whom were quite concerned about the damage being done by the budget and debt farce. But, though they invariably claim to be the voice of “the American people,” the House GOP’s militants are not especially interested in what the majority thinks; they really only care about their like-minded constituents back home. Those are the voices to whom they listen -- along with the shrill, uncompromising admonitions of the Club For Growth, the