At this point, I'm starting to get the feeling that John Boehner spends a good portion of each day sitting around in his office with a bunch of aides as they all stare at the ceiling. "Anybody got any ideas yet?" he says periodically. "No?" Heavy sigh.
Every couple of days they come up with something, float it to reporters, and find that it only serves to confuse things, to the point that nobody really knows what they're demanding anymore. First they'd only open the government and raise the debt ceiling if the Affordable Care Act were defunded. When that didn't fly, they suggested they'd release the hostages if the ACA were delayed for a year. No go on that, so they suggested that they'd accept some kind of "grand bargain" as long as it included "entitlement reform," which is Republican code for cutting Social Security and Medicare. Nope. Then they said they'd take some package of unnamed budget cuts and tax cuts. They aren't getting that either, and now it seems they've finally come to terms with the fact that when President Obama says he isn't going to pay any ransom, he actually means it.
So the latest proposal is that they'll allow an extension of the debt ceiling, for...six whole weeks! During which time they'll still be holding the government hostage, but will temporarily delay defaulting on the debt. The question is, to what end? What is supposed to happen in that time? Is President Obama going to change his position and decide that he'll give in to their demands after all? is the public going to decide that they're really a bunch of reasonable fellows who should be rewarded for this nightmare with a chance to govern the country? What?
I suspect the answer is this: They have no idea.