Things were so bad for Speaker John Boehner Thursday night, support for his Plan B tax bill so diminished, the limits of his power with his own party laid bare, that he stood in front of the House Republican Conference and recited the Serenity Prayer. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Boehner nearly cried. [Politico]

WHY IN the world would Speaker Boehner pronounce so loudly and publicly his Plan B if it was doomed to crash and burn on delivery?

Evidently, he doesn’t listen to wingnut radio.

As for the fate of Social Security, it may be the very same lawmakers that scuttled Boehner’s plan that will save the middle class and seniors from the Democratic Party, who may help progressives hand President Obama a setback on his desire to cut entitlements and further change what it means to be a Democrat.

I’m not sure it’s widely understood just how angry some of the major stakeholders on the left are about the latest turns in the fiscal cliff talks. […] “We want the president to come forward with an offer that reflects the reason why he won,” Silvers said. “We want the president to fight for two things: One is an end to the Bush tax cuts for the top two percent, and the other is to protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.” Silvers confirmed that the AFL-CIO wants Obama to pull back on the $400,000 threshold and Chained CPI offers. – Greg Sargent

The path to political success can have strange bedfellows these days.

The House has adjourned for the Christmas holiday. What happens next is anyone’s dart board game.

There’s an asterisk there, though: It’s not entirely clear whether Boehner will be the speaker of the House a month from today. The vote to elect the next speaker is on Jan. 3. To win, you need an absolute majority of the House, not a plurality. Even a hopeless conservative challenge that attracts only a handful of Republican votes could deny Boehner the speakership until a consensus candidate emerged. Tonight’s vote makes that challenge more likely. – Ezra Klein