John Boehner vs. the Tea Party (#KabukiTheater)

Updated
 
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's press office wants you to see this.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's press office wants you to see this.

House Speaker John Boehner could be within two representatives of failing to pass his debt-ceiling deal in the vote expected this evening, the Hill reports. That’s because 39 of them signed a pledge flogged by the Tea Party group FreedomWorks. The pledge (after the jump) requires that a Balanced Budget Amendment pass first, and as Senator John McCain explained yesterday, that’s not happening. Assuming Mr. Boehner passes his bill anyway, it’s going nowhere in the Senate. Democrats there are united against it.

ADDING: The conservative Twitters just now lit up with pictures of House Republican freshmen announcing they’ll back the plan. No word yet on whether Speaker Boehner’s got the votes he needs.

At core, the situation is the same as it’s been all along. Speaker Boehner’s caucus has enough members who are willing to burn the house down to make the threat of their doing it real. By continuing to tell the White House that he couldn’t pass anything, he got concession after concession. That advantage comes with a downside. “There are a lot of Republicans in the House of Representatives OK going past August 2nd, or August 8th, or August 10th, or wherever they need to go to get a balanced budget amendment,” Ezra Klein told us on the show last night.

Dave Weigel/Slate

The Tea Party movement stayed strong long enough to put those House freshmen in place. Above, the pic Dave Weigel posted for his report on Senator Jim DeMint addressing the Tea Party masses yesterday.

The Cut, Cap and Balance Pledge

John Boehner

John Boehner vs. the Tea Party (#KabukiTheater)

Updated