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Woah! Ha ha, so in the last 48 hours the political narrative in Washington has followed a life cycle from "House Republicans won't agree to the Senate's two-month extension of a payroll tax cut for the freebie-loving middle class" to, now, "House Republicans are LITERALLY SETTING FIRE TO THE PARTY ITSELF," and the Republican party will be Over and Dead basically by, eh, maybe Friday. Everyone is so confused. The Republicans are bravely destroying their party in order to raise taxes?


No one understands why John Boehner is stubbornly insisting that a temporary two-month extension of the tax holiday is so awful that the only cure for its terribleness is to force the Senate return to Washington and create a deal to make it last for, uh, twelve months instead of two. Somehow a two-month payroll tax cut for employees "creates uncertainty for employers" or whatever, which is just an economy-issues equivalent of the old standard "need to spend more time with the family" excuse for feeling embarrassed about being a fuck-up.

So, uh, does Eric Cantor have any clue what's going on?

“I think the people of this country are tired of hearing what Washington can’t do and want to see what we can do,” said Mr. Cantor, adding, “the people of this country are beginning to wonder about the body on the other side of this Capitol and are wondering what the leader over there has against the middle class of this country.”

That's more or less a description of the complete inverse of the situation, so -- nope.

How about over on the House floor this morning? Hahahaha, no, that was mostly Steny Hoyer screaming as Speaker pro tempore Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick cold fled the chamber to prevent the Democrats from requesting an up-or-down vote on the bill, for democracy.

Hooray! And now even crusty old country club bulletin The Wall Street Journal is incredibly pissed at the House Republicans, for finally giving away the "secret" that the GOP loathes almost nothing more than the middle class:

Senate Republicans say Mr. Boehner had signed off on the two-month extension, but House Members revolted over the weekend and so the Speaker flipped within 24 hours. Mr. Boehner is now demanding that Mr. Reid name conferees for a House-Senate conference on the payroll tax bills. But Mr. Reid and the White House are having too much fun blaming Republicans for "raising taxes on the middle class" as of January 1. Don't be surprised if they stretch this out to the State of the Union, when Mr. Obama will have a national audience to capture the tax issue.

Good job, Tea Party! [NYTimes/The Hill/WSJ]

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