Here's one wild guess about what's happened over on the House floor, where John Boehner had to postpone a vote at the last minute, presumably after he didn't have the votes.
My guess? He never got close. This late update from The Hill had not only the 25 no votes that put the bill below sea level, but a whopping 33 undeciding/not saying (along with 6 more probable yes votes). That's after a day of heavy lifting.
Now, it could be that Boehner has been a handful of votes away, and it's just a question of a couple of dozen Members fighting it out over who has to bit the bullet and take one for the cause. That's a tricky coordination problem, and it's even possible (as I write this, the vote is postponed but still possible later this evening) that it's just taking a bit more time than expected.
But another possibility is that he's been far from getting there all day, and tried to stampede it as the only remaining tactic. Perhaps if he gave the impression that it was going to happen, he could stampede GOP-oriented media who might not want to be on the wrong side of practically every Republican in the House, and that in turn would put pressure on wavering Members to sign on. A longshot, but if Boehner knew yesterday that he was likely to lose, maybe it was a longshot worth stabbing at.
I have no idea which of these were true, and as usual I'll toss in a caution that I'm not a reporter, but my hunch is that he didn't come close. The clue? That big group of undecideds, all of whom were needed to vote yes. If Boehner was really close, you would think that he would have had some of those 33 jump on the bandwagon a lot more loudly over the course of the day. It's only a clue; it's possible that they all told him they would be with him if necessary...but at least some of them should have been convinced that they weren't in the very last group of Members whose votes might not be needed. But it is a clue.
So that's my guess. I suppose we'll see, later tonight and on into tomorrow. Meanwhile, my casting of Boehner as Mal yesterday isn't looking so good -- but my take on the House GOP as the geek Trio is looking better all the time. Which is not, to be sure, something that I'm very happy about.