In one of the more infelicitous analogies I've ever read, Republican Congressman Steve LaTourette defended an enduring Boehnerian speakership of mayhem, mutiny, and arithmetical illiteracy, because otherwise "It's like saying the superintendent of an insane asylum should be discharged because he couldn’t control the crazy people. That's nuts."
I admit I like the analogy, since if nothing else it suggests a practical way forward: Thorazine in the lower chamber's water supply. Nonetheless, competent superintendence of insane asylums generally does entail a certain amount of "crazy control" so that the inmates can harm neither themselves, each other, or, most important, the surrounding community.
What genuinely worries in The Hill piece, though, from which the LaTourette quote is lifted, are these concluding passages:
One conservative House Republican ... said the only way Boehner’s position is likely to be in serious jeopardy is if he agrees to raise the debt ceiling in a fiscal-cliff deal with Obama without significant concessions on spending cuts and entitlement reform from the president.
"If he gives away the debt ceiling, he’s in trouble," the member said.
Which is to say that in the tormented minds of the crazies the fiscal cliff is to the debt ceiling what a firecracker is to a hydrogen bomb--which, it would seem, the crazies fully intend to detonate. They can't wait. It's so close, so tempting, so nihilistically orgasmic, they themselves are about to pop.
The member's comment also suggests that any fiscal-cliff deal would be both secondary and insignificant to his and his fellow radicals' anticipated, debt-ceiling extortion of monumental dimensions; hence the president's trading of anything--whether marginal rates, taxable levels, or a chained CPI--for an interim deal would in short order amount to an utterly useless appeasement.
Further, and paradoxically, any fiscal-cliff deal that's endowed with a one- or two-year postponement of a debt-ceiling war would be far more reckless than the war itself. Republicans' legislative "right" to cryptofascistic terrorizing of the nation's economy and credit must be forever and unconditionally surrendered. This government, as well as future governments, simply cannot endure with an apocalyptic debt-ceiling knife held perpetually at its throat.
If war must come, let it come now--and have it done with.