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So here’s the deal: John Boehner got utterly humiliated tonight, when he couldn’t even get his own party to pass his “Plan B” deal that was always just a political statement with no chance of passing.The Plan B deal would have frozen tax cuts for virtually everyone, while also dealing with the military spending cuts, and everything else most GOPers wanted.
So there are two possibilities.
One is very positive: A weakened Boehner now basically has to acquiesce to a Democratic-leaning plan that can get some Republicans (and a lot of Democrats). It was always going to be the case, that in a true compromise, Boehner would lose 70-100 Republicans, and would need to make up those votes with Democrats. Now we might be able to skip right to that endgame after Christmas. Voila. Done.
The negative: Boehner has no hope of retaining the speakership, as Ezra Klein and other suggest is possible, and there’s no House leader for Obama to negotiate with. We go off the Cliff with a House led by a harder-liner, who won’t agree to anything that raises taxes a penny.
One GOP aide expressed concern, saying there’s now a chance of a Democratic over-reach (an attempt to get everything) pushing even more Republicans away from the table.