A very big thing happened last night in the House of Representatives. For the second time this month, Boehner broke the Hastert Rule. The issue was Hurricane Sandy relief, a follow-up vote to a smaller package approved earlier this month. It passed, but the important thing is how it passed:
Yeas: 241 (192 Democrats, 49 Republicans)
Nays: 180 (Rep. Jim Cooper + 179 Republicans)
That is to say, with a minority of the majority. The first time was on the fiscal cliff, and now it's happened on hurricane relief. (By the way, bravo, Republicans; what a disgrace. I really never thought I'd start saying things like this, but it really is a shame that Democrats are too soft and decent to tell Kansas or Louisiana to go fuck off the next time Mother Nature gives them a snootful.)
Anyway, as Jed Lewison notes at Kos, strike one, strike two...the handwriting is on the wall. Boehner will do the same on the debt limit. After the Koch brothers' little warning shot yesterday, it seems virtually guaranteed. In addition to all this, did you notice yesterday that Chuck Todd tried a few different times to ask high-ranking GOP Congressman Greg Walden, the guy who thinks the platinum coin would sink the Titantic, if Boehner would honor the Hastert Rule, and he refused to answer.
Someone just tweeted very funnily: When we call Republicans cave men, it's not because we think they'll cave! But they're sure headed in that direction.
With a quick turn of phrase and a solemn visage, these four disgraced politicians re-entered the political arena after being removed from office. Three got back in; will Weiner join their ranks?
Writer George Packer mostly succeeds in describing the dissolution of our civic culture, says Michael Tomasky.