Maybe House Speaker John Boehner made his whackadoodle list of demands
for the debt ceiling today to distract us all from the fact that he has no idea how in the hell he can avoid shutting down the government next week while simultaneously keeping his job.
First, he told reporters Thursday morning that it was too soon to speculate on what the House would do when the Senate sends them a "clean" continuing resolution bill, without the Obamacare defunding language the House included, followed immediately by saying the House wouldn't accept the Senate's bill.
Boehner (R-Ohio) did say that he would not accept the Senate’s bill, which extends government funding until Nov. 15, but keeps Obamacare in tact.
The House-passed bill extended funding until Dec. 15, but stripped out funding for Obamacare. If Boehner sends a bill back to the Senate with changes, it would raise the chances of a government shutdown on Oct. 1. Senate Democrats would likely reject any legislation that tries to chip away at Obama’s health care law. Both chambers might agree to a one-week government funding measure to avoid a shutdown and allow for some more wrangling.
Despite the differences—and lack of an articulated plan—Boehner said he did not “expect” a government shutdown to happen.
How can he be so sure? Probably because he's betting that he'll be bailed out by a Senate that is responsible, and when push comes to shove, they would very likely be willing to do very short term extensions—several days or a week or two—that would give Boehner more time to flail around in his conference.
Harry Reid shouldn't do that. It's back to the fiscal cliff brinksmanship of last December. Let them fall off the cliff, let them refuse to act to fund the government and put the government shut down on their heads. Stop playing the game and force Boehner to deal with the disaster he created. The fall-out from that might be enough to force him to cut loose the teabaggers in his conference in order to avert the real disaster he's setting up with the debt limit.
Stand with Daily Kos and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in denouncing Republicans who would completely shut down the government just to destroy Obamacare.