Or, "GOP Failure Theater of such spectacular, unforgettable proportions that it's destined to win Grammy, Tony, Emmy, and Oscar awards all on the same night".
It began with House Tea Partiers demanding to delay any resolution of disapproval until Barack Obama officially submits all his secret "side deals" for congressional scrutiny:
GOP leaders had to change course after hearing an earful from rank-and-file members during a morning conference meeting.
Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus are demanding that the Obama administration send side deals between Iran and international nuclear inspectors to Congress as part of the Iran deal now under consideration. Opponents of the deal have argued that the clock on congressional consideration of the deal has not even begun until these side deals are submitted.
Representative Peter Roskam (R-IL6) has offered a resolution that would prevent a vote on the Iran deal until all of the documents of the international agreement — including the deals between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are provided to Congress for review.
Not that the secret side-deals are all that secret anymore, but for House TPers, this is a means to an end. Which would be fine and great and wonderful if they had any leverage in the process, which Corker-Menendez - which Congressman Roskam is invoking to try and get the White House to submit the side deals - preemptively threw away. Once that happened The One had, and has, no reason whatsoever to pay attention to any impotent demands congressional Republicans make about any aspect of this debacle. As far as he's concerned, Corker-Menendez's sixty day clock started ticking back in mid-July, and it's going to expire a week from now, and that's that. Which raises the question of why House Tea Partiers didn't raise the point they're hopelessly and belatedly pushing now back then, when they would at least have had the time to build momentum for it that might have picked off enough Senate Democrats to overcome a filibuster and actually get a purely symbolic disapproval resolution passed and sent to Red Barry for his veto. As it is, once next Thursday passes, O will deem Congress to have abstained on the matter and move forward with implementation of the "deal," lifting sactions and boxing up what's left of the U.S. nuclear arsenal for shipment to Tehran. And, in the mean time, House conservatives can have their make-believe debate on their make-believe timetable and hold their collective breath until their faces all turn so cerulian that they look like a Bolian diplomatic delegation....
....and maybe finally pass their resolution of disapproval, after which it will go across the Capitol where even Mitch McConnell will probably round-file it in disgust, and if he doesn't, it will fall to the same Democrat filibuster that has already been clinched.
Even in the sense of "If we don't vote on the 'deal,' our fingerprints won't be on it" this strategy doesn't work, because Corker-Menendez already put the GOP's fingerprints all over every last clinically depressing square inch. Which leads to the speculation that what House TPers are really doing is attempting to lay the foundation for their long-cherished and -awaiting "coup" attempt against Speaker John Boehner:
The real reason to jam up the House, I think, is simply to make life more difficult for Boehner, not Obama. Again, Obama’s going to win here no matter how this standoff in the House plays out. Boehner, however, arguably loses either way. If he brings Roskam’s resolution to the floor and it passes, Obama will shrug and proceed to implement the deal despite the absence of any congressional vote. He’ll probably argue that he’s not obliged to submit the side deals to Congress because they’re technically between Iran and the IAEA, not Iran and the U.S., and therefore not part of America’s obligations. That’d be a weak argument but what does President Overreach care about that? If Boehner refuses to bring Roskam’s resolution to the floor and either passes a resolution of disapproval without conservative support or fails to pass anything at all, House conservatives will be outraged and demand that it’s time for Boehner to go. It’d be a nice way to build momentum, with the [equally futile] struggle to defund Planned Parenthood coming up, that he’s a weak Speaker who’s lost his caucus and should step down before any more damage is done.
Not that that description of Boehner would be inaccurate, mind you. But he would have been weakened by his own caucus, not out of any inherent flaccidity in his own character. A process that would have been almost five years in the making. And that gets back to my past speculation that he may not want the job of herding all these metaphorically feral cats anymore. For which I, for one, could hardly blame him.
But in the Iran nuclear sellout context, to borrow a quote from Hillary Clinton, "What difference, at this point, does it make?" The time to stop the "deal" was six months ago by killing Corker-Menendez in its proverbial crib. And even that wouldn't have stopped his infernal majesty from concluding his "agreement" with the mullahs and shoving it down our throats anyway.
But at least that way, the true absence of Republican "fingerprints" on the national murder weapon would have ensured that America's annihilation wouldn't have been a suicide. And we're to be denied even that pyrrhic solace.
"An atomic pox on all your houses" - Democrat, GOP "establishment," and Tea Party alike - indeed.
UPDATE (9/10): The Senate Iran "deal" disapproval resolution fell short of cloture 58-42, right on schedule. But have no fear, my friends: John Boehner might sue over it! Boy, was THAT tactic ever successful in taking down ObamaCare!
I think I'll go lie in the fetal position for a while.