Twas the night before shutdown: the House changed its rules
To hold us all hostage to vain spiteful fools.
Poison pills had been stuffed
in the CR with care
To deprive shiftless "others"
A Senate CR, disinfected and clean,
Was blocked from a vote by the rightwing machine.
And Boehner with his baritone,
and Cruz with his glower,
Took to podiums to prove
gu'mmint could not sink lower.
So workers were furloughed and services shuttered.
The president was grounded, th'economy sputtered...
And all of a sudden
the government mattered!
And Cruz and his crew
with their own spite were spattered.
Obama stood firm
as the debt ceiling loomed,
While Chait, Cohn and Epps
feared the country was doomed.
Then Reid and McConnell
to a rescue purported
while the Tea Party snorted,
And Ryan with a smile served up more poison pills
As Collins blew a trumpet for corporate shills:
"Kill the medical device tax! Extend the sequester!"
Then Cruz crashed a barricade, abreast of Queen Esther,
'Neath banners bespeaking the hot patriotism
Of those wed to states' rights, sequester and schism,
Proudly proclaiming that those most inveterate
To defund Obamacare were, in fact, confederate.
Then Collins cooked up something Murray could swallow,
Five queens signed on, and the old bulls clicked "follow":
Senate-House conference on terms uncoercive,
Tweaks to Obamacare none too subversive,
Debt ceiling bump-up and short CR, clean,
Sequester not locked in for 2014.
Markets exhaled and the indexes soared,
Till Boehner rolled one more grenade of discord:
"Don't touch that hostage! A price must be paid --
Even if only by us and our aides...
National default is a bridge none too far
To uphold our values -- whatever they are."
Thus Boehner spooled his caucus one last yard of rope
To twine round their necks, as the nation's last hope,
And Heritage Action gave one mighty yank,
The diehards jumped ship, and the House CR sank.
The leadership, stunned, called the vote off and soon
The air fizzled out of the Tea Party balloon.
The Senate bill, simplified, once more was tendered,
As Boehner, Paul, Cruz in swift sequence surrendered.
"We just didn't win. But we fought the good fight."
Quite so -- if "good" equals "pumped full of spite."
Thus did the caucus put on a brave face,
Raised one more chorus of Ah-mazing Grace,
Checked on their vitals and took a deep breath,
Prepped to defend the sequester to death,
Chanted their catechisms, glowing with pride --
Beguiled, reviled and self-Cruzified.