“We the People.”
(Politico) — 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.
As we stumble closer to Aug. 2, it has become clear that many in the tea party are willing to inflict massive harm on the American people to obtain their political objective of a severely shrunken federal government. Their persistence in rejecting compromise, even as the economic effects of the phony crisis they have created mount, has taken their radicalism beyond tough negotiating, beyond even hostage-taking.
As markets fall in anticipation that there may not be a timely resolution; as credit agencies issue dire warnings that the U.S. political system has become so dysfunctional that a credit downgrade may be inevitable, and as America looks weakened in the eyes of the world, the tea party’s hostage-taking has evolved into the intentional infliction of harm on innocent Americans to achieve a political objective — terrorism.
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.
Here, as in many radical factions, there was a split between the purists and the pragmatists. Pragmatists vowed not to raise the ceiling unless draconian cuts were made in the federal government.
Purists didn’t bother with an “unless.” They, including presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachman (R-Minn.), were willing to let the entire edifice come crashing down — hiding behind magical thinking that allowed them to deny that anything horrible would happen if the ceiling were not raised.
Out of this vow grew the phony linkage between raising the debt ceiling and addressing the deficit. Raising the debt ceiling, of course, has nothing to do with addressing the deficit. It simply allows the federal government to pay debts that have already been incurred, based on expenditures that Congress has already authorized.
It lets the federal government pay its bills — an act of basic responsibility that every American — conservative and liberal — should embrace.