It hasn't been a good week for John Boehner, the Tea Party's liveried delivery man in its stable. In fact, it has been an awful week for the in-name-only House speaker. He has become the poster child for subservience to a modern political scourge.
This has been coming on for some time since Mitch McConnell declared five years ago that his first order of business was to make Barack Obama a one-term president. We all know how that turned out, leaving Obama's (hence, Obamacare) enemies to explain to the white guys how an African-American got into the White House without breaking a lock.
Not that Boehner will admit his obsequious dead-end role in the service of the brutal right-wing House caucus. He needs his old title, and the perks, even if he is forced to blackmail the sane folks with a threat to take down the whole government with him. (He really can't - but at least it will be shabby performance art that might warrant his survival a bit longer.)
Columnist Dana Milbank refers to the speaker's abject surrender to the loonies as "followership" and he is a lot closer to the scene than I am. Boehner, southwest Ohio's gift to Tea Party-style governance, is obsessed with killing Obamacare, which he calls a train wreck. In this respect, he's fully supported by the 80 or so Tea Partyers in the House who have the finest health insurance that they could enact for themselves.
How could Boehner be so obtuse to judge an act that has yet to be tried? He's not dumb, which means he wants all of us to fear the fictional Wabash Cannonball roaring down the tracks. As hyperbole, train wreck conjures up bloody messes.
Trouble is, neither Boehner nor the Tea Party's other minions on Capitol Hill give much of a damn about how history will judge them after their duties in the stable finally come to an end. In other words, you can't insult, ridicule, blaspheme nor mention how their grandchildren might have to explain them someday. They are short-term historical figures.
But for those hundreds of millions of us who must live in their midst, a government shutdown would be the real train wreck. And that ain't fiction, folks.