Via the Corner, the exciting conclusion to Friday afternoon’s drama about the Dems trying to force Boehner to bring a clean CR to the floor. Pelosi sent a letter to him on Saturday signed by 195 House Democrats calling for a vote; that means all she’d need for a successful discharge petition is 22 House Republicans to sign too — and coincidentally, there are 22 House Republicans who’ve said things to the effect that a clean CR would be awfully nice right now. Peter King, whose incessant Cruz-bashing has made him the new de facto RINO Pope, is of course one of them. Surely he’ll sign Pelosi’s petition, then, right?
Nope. “It’s not going to go anywhere,” he says, and he’s right. Like I said Friday, it’s one thing to bash the Cruz wing and call for an end to the shutdown, it’s another to promise your vote to Nancy Pelosi. If you’re going to jump off that bridge, you want to make sure the other 21 Republicans who’ve called for a clean CR are prepared to jump with you. Otherwise, you’re risking a ferocious conservative backlash over a discharge petition that’ll ultimately fall short of the 217 it needs, which means you’ve risked everything for nothing. And remember — King already has some experience with seeing Great RINO Revolts fall flat. Beyond that, joining Pelosi to force an end to the shutdown on October 14th would destroy Boehner’s leverage in negotiating ahead of the debt-ceiling deadline on October 17th. If the RINOs signal that they’re willing to cross party lines to avoid a shutdown, Obama will feel more inclined to dig in on the debt limit. That puts Boehner in an exceptionally tough spot, trying to defend the debt-ceiling stalemate to the public as a deadlock between Republican and Democratic priorities when a critical mass of his caucus will have already joined with the Dems on the CR in the name of ending fiscal stalemates.
So, nope, no discharge petition. Even King RINO has lines he won’t cross.