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December 18, 2013

PARKER: A gift to the people

‘Tis the season and Nancy Pelosi has given the hands-down best gift to the American people — her phrase “Embrace the suck.”

Miraculous.

Offered to fellow Democrats as a push to pass the bipartisan budget bill, the phrase has all the characteristics necessary to ensure a permanent place in the popular lexicon. It’s succinct, raunchy-esque and, most important, you know exactly what it means. “It sucks, but it’s the best we’ll get.”

Punctuating her epitaph-ready mandate, Pelosi added a characteristic subtitle: “We need to get this off the table so we can go forward,” which sounds similar to her previous comment on the Affordable Care Act: “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”

And Republicans are on fire. The real story isn’t that a bipartisan budget bill has been hammered out but that House Speaker John Boehner has ignited.

He and others of like mind obviously have decided to sacrifice party unity in the interest of national well-being. What a concept. Over a couple of days during the budget negotiations, Boehner turned both barrels on insurrectionists both inside and outside Congress — especially the big conservative action groups that have undermined any efforts at compromise and bipartisanship.

Depending on how things shake out in the remaining days of the jolly season, we could be witnessing the first shots of an old-guard revolution from which emerges the leader Republicans have been waiting for.

Center stage: Paul Ryan.

As all know, the budget deal was crafted by Ryan and Democrat Patty Murray. It’s a not-grand bargain but it’s something, and it staves off another budget crisis through fiscal year 2015.

Boehner’s rather sudden, unexpected attack on conservative groups such as Heritage Action, FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity was to many minds overdue. He condemned the groups for forcing tea party Republicans into corners and encouraging them to fight battles they couldn’t possibly win. Boehner has always thought this, insiders tell me, but had never expressed it publicly. His statements this past week were bold and consequential.

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