The Hill, among others, reports once again that John Boehner, he of those baby blues and bronzed epidermis and a bucket of battered balls, is embracing "the Tea Party’s strategy aimed at thwarting ObamaCare" and thus "betting he can win the public relations battle against President Obama’s bully pulpit."
I still don't see it, neither the "embrace" nor the "bet." The speaker is smarter than that. He's severely jammed up, sure, and step by step he's trying to get both himself and the House unjammed. But embraces and bets imply confidence in that which is embraced or bet on, and by all other accounts Boehner knows that the Tea Party's strategy is futile, because its p.r. value is negative.
Yet, it's odd. Boehner's a pragmatist, which usually contributes to sound governance. But in this case an idealist is called for; not an idealist of the otherworldly Tea Party sort, of course, but of the much older and genuinely conservative variety of actual ideals: chiefly, first do no harm. In the House circles Boehner travels in, that would take real, idealistic courage.