Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Big John faces the music
Scene: Tuesday night, July 26, 2011. Debt ceiling negotiations rage across Capitol Hill. Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell sit at an elegant bar. The Speaker is nursing a martini. Leader McConnell sits quietly with his hands folded in his lap. Across the room, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi huddles at a table with Representatives Chris Van Hollen, James Clyburn, and Steny Hoyer.
McConnell (to Boehner): What are you waiting for? You know you're going to have to talk to her.
Boehner: Give it a rest, will ya?
McConnell: I've already done what I can for you, John. I tried to float the "Make Obama do it" plan. They practically skinned me for it.
Boehner: Don't think I'm ungrateful, Mitch. But let's be real. If this all goes to shit, I might have to give up the gavel. And you know what that means...
[House Majority Leader Eric Cantor saunters in, espies Boehner and McConnell.]
Cantor: Gentlemen. Enjoying your evening?
McConnell: I was just leaving...
Cantor: So soon, Mitch? I thought we might have a drink, talk about plans for the 112th after the debt ceiling debate.
McConnell: In Kentucky, we don't have much use for Virginia college boys. And it's "Leader McConnell" to you.
Cantor: Right now, it is. We'll talk again in a month.
McConnell: Kiss my ass, you smart-ass punk. [Exit.]
Cantor (shaking his head): Believe it or not, John, that went better than I expected.
Boehner: You should take his advice.
Cantor: John, John, John. Haven't you heard? There's a new game in town.
Boehner (chuckling): "Tea time with Eric?"
Cantor: Go ahead and laugh, John. You won't think it's funny when I throw your ass out of the Speaker's office.
Boehner: You're kidding, right? You don't think I got bigger things to worry about than you?
[Boehner laughs, shaking his head. He sees Pelosi across the room. She seems to be looking at him. He can't be sure, but he thinks he sees her wink.]