Hey everybody: calm down. House Speaker John Boehner's failure last night to get enough votes to pass Plan B doesn't necessarily spell doom for a fiscal cliff deal, as my colleague Chris Frates explains.
One point worth highlighting: Boehner's whip counters now have a pretty good idea of how many in the conference would go for some kind of compromise.
But hey, it's Dec. 21, 2012, and perhaps the Mayans were right, so here's another scenario as laid out by a Saturday Night Live skit from a couple weeks ago: President Obama gives on tax rates because, well, he just feels bad for the guy. Check out this cold open skit, in which Obama caves because Boehner is being bullied by House Republicans: no one will sit with him at lunch; they put rubber snakes in his desk; they invite him to a party but it turns out to be a vacant warehouse.
Now, last night's events do raise some questions over the fate of Boehner's speakership. House Budget Committee ranking member Chris Van Hollen said last night that it was "very embarrasing" for the speaker. But Republican Rep. Steven LaTourette, who is close to Boehner, said that last night's failure hurting Boehner’s speakership is, “like saying the superintendent of an insane asylum should be discharged because he couldn’t control the crazy people. I mean that’s nuts.”