Things were so bad for Speaker John Boehner Thursday night, support for his Plan B tax bill so diminished, the limits of his power with his own party laid bare, that he stood in front of the House Republican Conference and recited the Serenity Prayer.

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”…

“He’s tried his best,” said Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio), a longtime Boehner confidant who is leaving Congress at the end of the year. “But sometimes your best isn’t good enough in the face of some people that just don’t want to find common ground.”

Rep. Buck McKeon, a California Republican who has served with Boehner for two decades, said what happened to the speaker is a “real shame.”

“He has worked his heart out to try to get the best deal he can, and to have this happen is very sad for the country,” McKeon said.