If Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid rejects the third iteration of the continuing resolution sent to him by the House on Saturday, the Nevada Democrat will oblige his caucus to stand in support of the ruinous medical device tax they overwhelmingly voted to repeal on March 20 of this year.
If Reid adopts his boss' "no negotiations with non-terrorists" stance, Reid will also force his Democratic colleagues to slam military men and women and their families — right down to the toddlers and the newborns — with punishing pay lapses and facilities closures.
If Reid refuses to see what everyone else sees -- the 1000-car pile-up that is Obamacare is in desperate need of at least a year's delay if the very basics are to operate -- then he can force the government to shut down.
But it will be Reid and fellow Democrats like Alaska's Mark Begich, Arkansas' Mark Pryor, Colorado's Mark Udall, Louisiana's Mary Landrieu, New Hampshire's Jeanne Shaheen and North Carolina's Kay Hagan who will be responsible for shuttering the government, keeping the hated and job-destroying medical device tax in place, displaying indifference to the chaos in the roll-out of the exemption-riddled Obamacare and, more than anything else, screwing the men and women in uniform and their families.
Those families have sacrificed the most for the longest since 9/11, and now the president and Senate Democrats think it fair game to put a hold on their pay and benefits in order to buck up a melting snowman of a president.
So Reid will close the government, and do so on the president's orders. This isn't 1995, when news from the Capitol was tightly orchestrated by the Big Three networks, plus CNN, the weeklies and a handful of prestige papers.
The details of the GOP's very reasonable counter-counter-offer were circulating across the country before the Indians had locked up a post-season game on Saturday.
Networks were carrying sports, but the Washington Examiner's Byron York, Robert Costa of National Review and a score of other veterans of the hallways of the Hill had snooped out the details and there was general agreement it was a good and indeed even a crafty offer.
It was a good offer because it took care of the troops, ended a job-killing tax, and punted on the ultimate fate of Obamacare, the nightmare that is eating the president's popularity.
Going into Saturday's meetings, there were whispers of the end of Boehner, who has been down for the count more often than Boardwalk Empire's Nucky Thompson, but the son of the bar keep served up exactly the right mix and carried the caucus with him.
If Reid were to send back the CR with just the repeal of the tax (the military taken care of via separate action), Boehner could take that as yet another partial unwinding of the tapestry of errors that is Obamacare.
Some would grumble, but everyone on the GOP side would have at least a part of a trophy.
And the Democrats would have to defend the Titanic their skipper told us all again this past week was the best ship ever set sail, even after many icebergs, even after a drop to 43% in Gallup.
The president's off to dance with the Iranians after doing that so successfully with the Syrians and the Egyptians, so what's not to believe about his predictions.
Democratic staffers are circulating their resumes and their bosses are pondering life after the Senate. If they could just stop the bleeding ... if they could just get a one year delay until after the next election ... if they could just get a new leader or president.
HUGH HEWITT, a Washington Examiner columnist, is a law professor at Chapman University Law School and a nationally syndicated radio show host who blogs daily at HughHewitt.com.