Reason and facts prevailed last night, with strong bi-partisan votes in both the House and Senate to raise the debt limit, protect the full faith and credit of the United States of America, and avert a financial disaster.
Not a single Democratic member of the House or Senate voted for default, and the country would have defaulted last night but for the Democratic party. That is the case, because a big majority of House Republicans voted against the bill to avert default. In fact, 144 Republicans voted No, and 87 voted Yes.
Last night, once again the governing majority in the House was all Democrats plus a minority of the GOP. Yet, dangerously, the Tea Party still controls the House Republican caucus and the House itself, as long as Speaker Boehner will not bring bills to the floor that do not have a majority of Republicans in support.
Unlike the House, in the Senate, the Tea Party does not rule the GOP caucus. In fact, 27 Republican Senators voted Yes and only 18 voted No. One of the 17 GOP Senators hugging Senator Cruz was Pennsylvania's own Pat Toomey. But the 18 extremists are a minority in the GOP senate caucus, where responsible conservatism led by Senator McConnell still maintains a majority.
Last night's vote raises this key question for the future of the Republican party and the country: Will the GOP follow the path walked by the 27 GOP Senators that rejected default denial or the Tea Party that maintains either default will not cause economic damage or would even strengthen the country?
At this point, the Republican primary in Kentucky, where Senator McConnell faces a Tea Party challenger becomes another major battle in the political war between traditional conservatives and Tea Party radicals for the control of the GOP. Back in the House, where the Tea Party already rules, it will be important to watch and see if the Tea Party makes more gains in the 2014 primaries against the 87 Republicans who voted Yes last night.
Tellingly, all the GOP Senators running for President--Rubio, Paul, Cruz--are in the extremist Tea Party faction that seeks to never raise the debt limit and so destroy the full faith and credit of the United States of America. That's especially good news for Hillary Clinton!