Almost everyone is mad at someone in Washington. But this was actually a week, this contrarian would say, when there was reason to applaud some GOP leaders who showed moxie and maturity. Walter Shapiro put it well, making the case:

For all the unnecessary pyrotechnics, for all the missed opportunities over the past 18 months, rationality triumphed over ideological extremism in Washington this week. And if this precedent helps prevent America from defaulting on its debts when the government runs out of borrowing power in March, so much the better. But, in the interim, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner deserve muted, but sincere, applause for bringing the anti-tax Republicans back from the brink.

In addition, Boehner also slowed passage of the pork-filled Sandy relief bill, giving lawmakers time to figure out what is germane to the devastated areas and what is akin to now-banned earmarks for special projects and goodies.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

Should conservatives still grumble about the inability to force spending cuts (as one of the five Republicans voting no, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), did in a self-serving piece failing to explain what alternative he had available in the fiscal cliff battle) they should heed Charles Krauthammer’s advice that Republicans blew it on Plan B and “have to be united from now on. . .  [or] all power will devolve to the president and the Senate and [Rep. Nancy] Pelosi.”

So for all that, well done, Sen. McConnell and Mr. Speaker.