Bad news for anyone who was looking forward to another stupid debt ceiling standoff:popular television personality and Speaker of the Whole House John Boehner says he will hold a House vote tomorrow to raise the borrowing limit of the United States, which he expects will pass only with a big assist from Democrats:

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) made clear the GOP would provide the requisite number of Republican votes for the "clean" measure but that Democrats will be expected to carry the vote.

Credit where credit’s due: Boehner is not a dumb politician. He realized long ago that the extreme right, Tea Party wing of the GOP was not, shall we say, strategically minded. He also knew that he personally lacked the ability to yoke their weird gyrating rage to anything legislatively productive. So he basically sat back and said “Whatever, go ahead, see what happens.” And “what happens” is Obama gets re-elected, the GOP’s popularity hits historic lows, and must-pass legislation only moves with Democratic support, which is just embarrassing. This series of obvious failures so diminished the potency of the scorched earth crowd that Boehner felt comfortable saying they'd "lost all credibility," which was delicious and true.

If this is your first rodeo, a "clean" debt limit bill is one that won’t try to defund, repeal, slut-shame or even side-eye Obamacare. It won’t cut food stamps (again) or end emergency unemployment insurance (again) or even reverse the cuts to military pensions that were part of the December budget deal – even that was apparently a non-starter for rank-and-file GOP members:

The latest attempt at a concession by House GOP leaders was to restore the recently reduced cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for military members. It followed a series of similar proposals that couldn't find consensus.

Makes a weird kind of sense, though: The median GOP member would probably rather vote against a clean debt limit hike than vote for a hike that the right wing feels doesn't go far enough. Yes, “median GOP member” is a subtle pun, because of how “member” is another word for “dick,” and how they are, by and large, dicks, which is another word for someone who behaves like an “asshole,” which is an orifice that emits animal waste, which is a metaphor for how they want to “pass” legislation that reminds a lot of people of a steaming pile of shit.

To this point, the standard GOP framing of every debt ceiling negotiation has been that each one is a singular, defining moment in our nation’s history, without doubt our last chance to turn away from a bleak future of Greek Chinese slavery. We chose the slavery each time, and so far so good!

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