[Ed. – As for the author of this piece, it’s like people can’t reason their way out of a paper bag these days. He sets the obvious conclusion up, but can’t manage to draw it: the real political divide today isn’t between Democrats and Republicans on the Hill; it’s between the GOP leadership and a constitutionalist base that ranges from conservative to libertarian.]
With conservatives working themselves up into cries of rage and betrayal over the GOP leadership’s emerging scheme to avoid a government shutdown, it seems increasingly likely that House Republican leaders may need Democratic votes to pass something that funds the government for the next year. The question now: How will Democrats respond?
For now, Democratic leadership aides signal, they are content to let Speaker John Boehner twist in the wind. In other words: This is your problem; you deal with it.
The emerging House GOP plan is to hold a vote to condemn President Obama’s executive action, to allow conservatives to vent. Then Republicans will try to pass year-long funding for most of the government, except the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees immigration enforcement. The DHS would be funded through only February, at which point Republicans could try to defund Obama’s action.
Conservatives — egged on by the Three Amigos, Ted Cruz, Steve King, and Michele Bachmann — say this isn’t good enough, so passage of the bill funding the government remains in doubt. Indeed, GOP leaders havereportedly reached out to Democratic leaders to see if Dems would help pass it. Nancy Pelosi responded by declining to answer, saying only: “It’s immature. They should make a decision that this is what we need to do to keep the government open.“
If that sounds cryptic, it’s because it’s supposed to be. There’s no reason why Democrats would signal their intentions now, since Boehner’s apparent need for Democratic support to avoid disaster theoretically increases their leverage.