The news this evening is that John Boehner had to pull the bill Republicans had been scrambling to put together all day.
My general sense is that it's progress. If a GOP CR/debt limit bill passes the House, we're back to where we were, really; both sides have a position, with Democrats insisting that a deal amounts to paying a ransom, and so there's no deal to be had.
However, with House Republicans in disarray, the only game in town is the Reid/McConnell "deal," which is really just a GOP surrender with a minor fig leaf. Or maybe not even; there was talk at one point in the last day or so of it winding up as just a clean bill.
Or, to put it another way. From the very beginning, it's been clear that any bill to pass would need to be acceptable to both Barack Obama and Senate Democrats and also to most House Republicans. House Republicans mostly wouldn't have to vote for it, but they probably would have to accept it. So one way to look at it is that the whole game has been to get mainstream House Republicans to the point where they're willing to accept surrender, even if it means getting blamed for it by the radicals.
I'm no reporter; I only know what I read, and can guess at what seems likely. But I think it's extremely likely that most House Republicans blame the radicals, Ted Cruz, and Jim DeMint a lot more than they blame John Boehner. And I tend to agree with those who think that perhaps today was just about demonstrating to them, one more time, that the radicals who are a problem that they actually have to confront. If only by accepting a mostly-Democrats bill to re-open the government and extend the debt limit.
Maybe not! But whether Boehner actually plotted this all out this way or not, that's my best guess about where we are tonight.