The hard-right conservatives in the House of Representatives want to defund Obamacare, and House Speaker John Boehner has decided to let them try—even though he knows their measure can't pass the Senate, and even though he knows that taking their measure seriously in the House could lead to a government shutdown and more.

In March, the speaker himself said: “Do you want to risk the full faith and credit of the U.S. government over Obamacare? That’s a very tough argument to make.”

On Wednesday, the speaker announced his choice.

“The law’s a train wreck,” he said. “It’s time to protect American families from this unworkable law.”

According to Republican Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, the strategy is simple: don't think too hard about the consequences. “Even the best coaches in the N.F.L. only script out the first two series of plays,” he told the New York Times. “They don’t script the whole game. We’ve got to play the game. We’ve got to see how it all shakes out.”

The current Congressional approval rating: 18.5 percent.