With all the depressing news coming out of Washington DC and elsewhere, I really get a lift when something wacky and inspired happens.
Today is a great example.
Everyone knows about the so-called "Path to Prosperity" plan cobbled together out of Simon Legree's biography and the collected works of Ayn Rand by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-ufrickincrazy). But what you may not have known is that there is an even more draconian budget plan lashed together by barbed wire by the "Republican Study Committee," headed by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-ugonnadrinkthatkoolaid).
Jordan's budget was to be voted on first, as an amendment to the proposed FY 2012 budget. A simple majority was required, according to House rules.
Under ordinary circumstances the Democrats and those Republicans who aren't completely nucking futs would vote No.
And here's where the fun begins.
The Democratic caucus - all 172 of them - started flipping their votes from No to Present. The GOP leadership started looking at the vote total as the time limit started to run out, and panicked.
The RSC amendment was on the verge of actually passing.
And chaos erupted on the House floor, as GOPers started scrambling to flip their own votes from Yes to No. The RSC amendment failed, 119-136, at the last minute.
This exercise in craziness highlighted the divisions between the Republican factions, and would have given the Democrats the heaven-sent opportunity to hang a draconian guaranteed-to-fail budget right around John Boehner's flabby neck. "Here's your albatross, and you don't get wafers with it."
It made me laugh so hard I startled the cat. High marks to the Democratic leadership for spotting the opportunity and exploiting it to the fullest.