National Review's Robert Costa is up with more scuttlebutt from the pestilent sewer of the GOP House.
It is now "clear," members told him yesterday, that Speaker Boehner is "looking at potentially blending a government-spending deal and debt-limit agreement into a larger budget package" as a means to achieve "conference unity." This, if true (see update, above), is a desperate stride in the wrong direction, since "conference unity" has come to mean Tea Party hegemony.
Coupling a debt-ceiling lift with a spending package is in itself a wise move (the two objectives are now so proximate as to be one), yet Boehner is proposing, again, that the combo be negotiated--and that simply won't happen, because, simply, it can't.
For this and future White Houses the only thing worse than no deal is a paid ransom note. John Boehner has to know that. Still ...
He has appointed--and you gotta love Costa's term--"fiscal strategists" Paul Ryan and Dave Camp to act as his caporegimes in "openly" hustling criminal fantasies to other House gangsters "about what kind of concessions they could potentially win from Democrats." Why, in whole or in part they can extract entitlement reforms! and a chained CPI! and a medical-device tax abolition! and Obamacare delays!--if they just hold tight.
"It’s all about what Republicans could win," writes Costa, "and little about what they’ll give in return."
Regarding said Republicans, Costa's reportorial tone is quizzical and, in view of his publication's partisanship, rather admirable. But a Shakespearean paraphrase still captures these hooligans the best: Never hung poison on fouler toads.