An exceedingly tense holiday season is looking more likely by the day, in that a clean, maybe-six-week CR and debt-ceiling lift appear to be the only immediate ways out of this feckless-Republican mess. If Sen. Susan Collins doesn't understand why the majority leader panned her proposal, most everyone else does. Aside from its minor ransom demand of a medical-device tax delay, it locked in long-term sequester levels, with yet more cuts destined in January. In short it would have marooned Democrats' future bargaining power.
We've only three days left before the doomsday clock chimes, and tomorrow's markets may get really ugly. I can now just about see Boehner, sometime Wednesday, once on his ninth merlot and third pack, opening the floor to the Senate's previously passed CR, plus a lift.
Which would at least buy Republicans another few weeks to do more inestimable harm.
And that will be their Christmas gift to America.