House Speaker John Boehner made a rare appearance in the GOP's ever-shrinking Reality Wing today by announcing that as far as he's concerned, failing to raise the national debt ceiling: "puts us in an awful lot of jeopardy, and puts our economy in jeopardy, risking even more jobs."
Unfortunately, for the Speaker, it turns out that he was addressing no one but a dissolute janitor, who was paying no attention. It turns out the Reality Wing of the GOP has been mostly vacant for some time, and has been mainly converted to storage for boxes of old campaign literature, stacking summer interns and a phone switch for Michelle Bachmann's nascent Presidential campaign.
It's interesting to note that Speaker Boehner's statement comes on the heels of Eric Cantor tossing his (nominal) boss under the bus by his staged temper tantrum and walking out on budget talks. It is generally known that Cantor doesn't have much use for Boehner and would like his job.
By walking out of the talks on the pretense of some sort of hardline fiscal high road against taxes, spending-foo, he doesn't have to be party to the increase in the debt ceiling, which would cost him with his Tea-Party Taliban supporters.
At the same time, he gets to saddle John Boehner with the hated moniker of "deal maker;" the guy who compromised with the President, instead of standing on principle, etc...
Well, in the Pro-Wrestling paradigm that seems to dominate Republican Party politics, this would mean casting Boehner as "the heel." Yet, since he can't avoid it, the Speaker seems like he is going to embrace the roll.
Moreover, it spite of how it might look to the rabid fans of the Gold Standard, it also shows that as we draw closer to August 1, the endgame we all expected is in sight and that no one in Congress (at least no serious people) were willing to be the ones to grab the wheel and drive the bus off the cliff just to prove a point.
How sad is it that something as fundamental as the national debt ceiling has devolved into nothing more than a massive game of political "chicken?"
Of course, instead of making the GOP pay a price for this nonsense, the Obama Adminsitration has been more than willing to roll over on some other very fundamental issues, such as roll backs on Social Security benefits (even though they don't really contribute to the national debt).
Even though Boehner's still talking tough about being "far apart" on an agreement with the White House, you can tell the deal is getting close because Boehner's talking about the need to get the deal done.
In the words of the sage: "Ignore the bones, follow the river..."