It has become commonplace to call the tea party faction in the House “hostage takers.” But they have now become full-blown terrorists.
They have joined the villains of American history who have been sufficiently craven to inflict massive harm on innocent victims to achieve their political goals. A strong America has always stood firm in the face of terrorism. That tradition is in jeopardy, as Congress and President Barack careen toward an uncertain outcome in the tea party- manufactured debt crisis.
Terrorism is a tough term, but, unfortunately, it describes tea party tactics precisely. Their first step was to vow not to vote to raise the debt ceiling.
"The Republicans are holding hostage the credit of the United States of America."
Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT):
Welch charged, “This is the first time a party has used a debt ceiling vote to hold hostage the American economy.”
And on and on. They all got that "hostage" talking point memo, didn't they.
It goes both ways. Republicans throw their fair share of heated rhetoric as well, but it seems to me there is enough blame to go around for this crisis and the Democrats are unwilling to accept any. As I mentioned, they saw this coming months ago. Obama walked away from his own debt commission report. His position has always been his way or no way. Compromise isn't a word he has used until lately.
As for the Tea Party, those Tea Party members are the only ones doing what they were sent to Washington to do. They can't be bought off with earmarks or vague promises. It isn't their fault that Obama helped create this crisis by ignoring the debt commission and continuing on his job killing, economy crushing, regulation heavy, massive spending policies.
Politico's piece is just fanning the flames and that is what is irresponsible, not the Tea Party.
Update: Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VT) complaining on the House floor right now about the Boehner bill being "slapped together behind closed doors" in the dark of night. He calls this all a "manufactured crisis." By Obama, I might add.
Rep. Mel Watt (D-NC) calls the bill the worst evah! "We have NO time left in the debate on our side to debate whether we will pass an amendment to the Constitution of the United States that literally holds a gun to the economy of America!"
No terroristic language there.
Update 2: Barney Frank: "Speaker Boehner should take as his theme song, 'It's My Party and I'll Cry if I Want To.'" He calls it "a flawed bill" brought by "a weakened Speaker."
Well, that was mature.
Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD): "The Republican majority should be embarrassed for the American people." They are "reckless" she says. The bill was "hurriedly drafted today just to please the far right elements of the Tea Party." She says the Republican party is putting "our entire future" at risk "for this garbage."
Garbage in, garbage out.
Update 3: Rep. Gerald Connelly says the Republicans are "turning our Founding Fathers into deadbeat dads."
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) echos the appeasing the "far right" theme. Corporate jets! Close tax loopholes! Tax the rich! Eliminate oil company subsidies!
Sheila Jackson Lee: "This is the worst bill that any American could imagine in the history of this nation!" Hyperbole. "We actually have the authority...under the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling." She says the BBA is "not by majority" and will stop Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare. Hyperbole. She urges people to call in and say "Stop the madness!"
Update 4: I see kids in the chamber. Such rhetoric for such young ears!
Update 5: Rep. Marcy Kaptur suggests this bill is like pulling the IV tubes out of an ill patient and "shoving them down the elevator chute."
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) "This Congress is in chaos!" True dat. "We must stop this Republican Roulette and get back to a plan that is realistic." She calls for a clean vote on the debt ceiling and if not then invoke the 14th Amendment.
Rep. Steve Rothman (D-NJ) refers to it as the Republican Default Bill. "The full faith and credit of the United States will be held hostage..." There's that word again. Some applause from the floor when he finishes speaking.
The children behind the podium are waving to the camera.
Update 6: Rep David Scott (D-GA) lamenting "drastic cuts" to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. About $1000 per person, he says.
Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA) "our nation's first ever default is at hand."
Rep.Markey says the Republicans "don't want compromise, they want capitulation." He says this bill will change the Constitution "forEVER!"
Nancy Pelosi says "the clock is ticking" - most overused phrase of the day. "As we continue this debate today, one thing is very clear to me. If our goal were to find deficit reduction in a balanced bipartisan way, we could certainly do that...we could find a path to serious deficit reduction." "That is not the goal of the Republicans of the House of Representatives." Now she's blathering about clean air standards and food safety. Clean water. "We can't do that for ourselves!"
Tax subsidies to big oil! "You're going to pay more for your college loans so we can give tax breaks to people at the other end." "This bill is going nowhere. It is a total waste of time," she says.
The Speaker and the Republicans walked away from the table and the stock market dropped 483 points, she says. I don't think you can totally blame the Republicans for that, Nancy.