Budget Temper Tantrum Slogs On For Another Day


Today the Senate will pass a clean budget resolution and send it back to the House. Then what? Nobody knows. The temper-tantrum caucus in the House refuses to consider it, and John Boehner isn’t (yet) willing to cross them. The business community is snoozing, so there’s no help from that quarter. And obviously a bill that defunds Obamacare is off the table. So what’s next?

It is unclear what the Republicans want, other than a complete repeal of the health law. Senior House Republicans continue to assess their options as the Senate prepares to vote on Friday, and are likely to insert any changes over the weekend, when the House plans to be in session.

One idea, according to a Republican who had spoken to the leadership, would be to put an amendment in the Senate budget bill that would eliminate health insurance subsidies for members of Congress and many of their aides, who must purchase their insurance on the exchanges that are part of the new law.

And the point of this is….what? Nobody knows. It’s just an action of pure spite, a howl of frustration from children who have been denied ice cream for lunch and are looking for some way to lash out. So now they’re thinking that maybe a bit of self-mutilation is in order. Maybe that will make everyone pay attention to them.

Or something. I don’t know what to think anymore. I don’t know if this behavior is sociopathic, or just sad, or merely embarrassing, or what. I just don’t know.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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