You've got to admit, Boehner played this thing beautifully. For a while he looked like an impotent, incompetent schmuck. Yet he proceeded to orchestrate one of the greatest jujitsu slams in legislative history. Last Friday,
Reid had just publicly accused Boehner of running a "dictatorship" in the House and caring more about holding onto his gavel than striking a deal.
"Go f— yourself," Boehner sniped as he pointed his finger at Reid [in the White House lobby], according to multiple sources present.
Reid, a bit startled, replied: "What are you talking about?"
Boehner repeated: "Go f— yourself."
Reid did, albeit involuntarily.
Obama pushed forward despite strong reservations expressed by top congressional Democrats--especially Reid--who privately described it as a "bad deal" that would increase Republican leverage in future budget fights.
Which of course it will. Math is an unyielding tyrant. And the Republican Boehner, of all people, turns out, knows that better than anyone. As Ezra Klein noted in a Wonkblog tweet:
Yes, lots of House R’s voted no. But they brought the bill to the floor so it would pass. That was the real vote, and it was for the deal.
Just beneath Boehner's cherubic grimace there beats the diabolical heart of a brilliant manipulator.