The following, from The New York Times, is some stunning “inside baseball” reportage surrounding the Republican shut down of the federal government and John Boehner’s threat to default on the nation’s debt if Obamacare is not dismantled:
They [the House Republicans] are only trying to survive another day, Republican strategists say, hoping to maintain unity as long as possible so that when the Republican position collapses, they can capitulate on two issues at once — financing the government and raising the debt ceiling — and head off any internal party backlash. Republican lawmakers say Mr. Boehner has assured them privately that he will not permit a default.
Backers of the speaker say he does not have to fear a coup. His obvious successor, the majority leader, Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, is so caught up in the current legislative battle that he would probably be washed away with Mr. Boehner in a Tea Party putsch, and with no other obvious candidates in waiting, no such uprising is likely.
“I do not believe he’s primarily concerned with saving his speakership. He’s concerned with saving the House Republican Conference,” said Vin Weber, a former Republican House member who advises the current House leadership.
If the speaker were to move on a stopgap spending bill now, without conservative policy priorities attached, it would most likely pass with Republican and Democratic votes. But the ensuing Republican uproar — on and off Capitol Hill — would ensure that there would be no Republican votes to raise the debt ceiling. “It’s common-sense strategy,” one Republican strategist said. “If you’re going to take a bullet, you want to take just one.”
Translation: The Republicans have boxed themselves in and claustrophobia is now asserting itself. It will be over in a few weeks. They will get nothing. President Obama and Harry Reed need merely to wait them out. This is a political Waco. Keep matches from the scene.