Still, the disconnect between what Boehner himself had termed fiscal “Armageddon” and the bullheadedness of the tea partiers unnerved members like Jo Ann Emerson. She sidled up to one of the freshman one day and said, “I need you to explain why you don’t think there’s anything wrong with defaulting on the debt. I can’t have this conversation with my constituents because I’ll yell at them and they’ll yell at me. So you tell me.”

The freshman’s reply bewildered Emerson. “We’ve spent way too much money,” he told here. “If this is the price we pay, so be it.”

Emerson wanted to reply: You [expletive deleted]!  Do you really not understand what could happen here?

When she got home that evening, Jo Ann Emerson’s greeting to her husband was “Just pour me a big glass of wine. I cannot believe that I had this conversation with somebody who was elected to Congress.”

— Robert Draper, Do Not Ask What Good We Do (NY: Free Press, 2012), pp. 239-240.