Reps Ryan and Cantor saw that the press was reacting poorly to the Boehner/Pence flim-flam “budget” and decided to throw their colleagues under the bus. And, frankly, I’m not surprised that Ryan and Cantor were surprised. I was surprised, too. I’ve never really seen political reporters get outraged before about the fact that a policy document makes no sense in the past. It was a curious outbreak of substance among the press corps that I don’t think was particularly foreseeable.
I guess that's a fair point: it is a little unusual for the press to call BS for what it is. At the same time, it's also worth noting just how invisible this whole exercise was. It got lots of mockery in the blogosphere, and it also showed up on political shows like Maddow and Olbermann, but aside from that it wasn't so much ridiculed as ignored. If you get your news from the New York Times or NPR or Katie Couric, you'd barely even know this had happened, let alone that everyone thought it was ridiculous.