The Politics of Budget Negotiations

Because I get a kick out of how the sausage is made, here’s Kevin Drum writing about House Speaker John Boehner’s “failed” Plan B for Mother Jones:

“A second possibility—and I honestly don’t know how likely this is—is that Boehner now knows he can’t get the tea partiers to vote for anything, so he’ll give up on the idea of bringing them into the fold. Instead of trying to craft a bill that can get 218 Republican votes, he’ll round up fifty or a hundred of the non-crazies and pass a compromise bill along with 150 Democrats. On this reading, today’s failure actually makes a fiscal cliff compromise more likely.”

The simplest explanation is often the right one, but politics rarely follows science’s simpler methods. Perhaps the true intent of Speaker Boehner’s Plan B was to expose the GOP caucus’s more intransigent members, allowing him to move beyond the rightest of wingers in fashioning a deal palatable to Democrats and the more moderate (yes, there are still some out there) Republicans.

If that’s the case, there’s quite a lot of politicking going on among Republican back benchers right now. That would make for an interesting few days of political news next week.