The day after the government shut down, Speaker John Boehner woke up feeling under siege.
Pushed into a fight he didn’t want by Senator Ted Cruz and the defund brigade, Boehner had embraced a strategy he knew would end in disaster, only to face a new revolt from the moderates in his conference, one he personally stared down on the House floor. Boehner confided to his closest congressional allies at an October 3 meeting that he had asked why God would have put him in this position. “There must be a reason,” he thought as he lay awake in his bed. As Boehner went through his prayers, one in particular prompted a sudden, overwhelming feeling of peace.