And now the Reckoning. Let’s start with the $25,000,000,000 that your friends in the GOP just shaved off the already underfed recovery. Do you suppose that $25,000,000,000 will mostly come out of CEO pay, or yours? What’s your best guess on that? I only pose the question. Here’s another question. Remember a couple of short years ago when all the GOP could talk about was the Principal Economic Danger of UNCERTAINTY? Oh they were all about the Peril of Uncertainty when we were debating Obamacare. But somehow this bedrock conviction suffered abrupt defenestration after Obamacare passed. THEN a Settled Law somehow became the principal danger and Uncertainty became their bestest buddy. Huh?? Do they not believe in their own principles? Is it all just empty words and power politics? I only ask.

Everybody said John Boehner would pay a big price, but I wasn’t so sure about that when they said it and I’ll believe it when I see it. What I see is Boehner sitting atop a diseased coalition, and there he still sits, and there the coalition still stands. And while the coalition has been embarrassed, embarrassment is not a real cost. A real cost is $25,000,000,000, in case I hadn’t mentioned that. Will they be punished at the polls? For that we count on the Memory of the Electorate and the Memory of the Media. Enough said about that. I think it’s time to punish them now.

I am not a retribution type. I am a forgive and forget type. But politics is hardball, not beanbag, as they say. The GOP not only embarked on a stupid, reckless, hugely damaging course of action. They got called on it and properly humiliated. But humiliation is WAY too small a price. It’s not a price at all. Already people are wondering whether they might just do it again. This is not a suitable thing to be wondering about. Better to wonder how to use this situation to solve the real problem. The Republicans are back on their heels after their flirtation with extortion, and it is time to press the advantage against them. And in what area? The crucial area, is where. The keystone in the GOP Arch of Adamancy is their dogmatic, unreasonable opposition to tax hikes on the rich. This is where to press. That is the puzzle piece that is holding the Crazy Coalition together with the ‘mainstream’ Republicans. And it’s been the blockade to resolving the long-term deficit, the other thing the GOP loves to howl about (when they’re out of power, that is). They say never let a crisis go to waste. Don’t let a victory go to waste.