Posted by: JanF | September 19, 2013

No more lipstick for the teaparty extortion pig

Yesterday in a speech to the Business Roundtable, President Obama clearly labeled the teaparty Republicans as extortionists. And in doing so, he challenged their grasp of history and the foolishness of their insistence on holding the debt ceiling hostage to their ideology.

Despite pleas from the Chamber of Commerce and Republicans who are not 100% bat-guano crazy (not quite “reasonable” or “sensible” but somewhat left of “stark raving mad” on the crazy continuum), the House gave in to the demands of the Kamikaze Wing of the Republican Party, aka Ted Cruz.

Here is the nugget (from the transcript):

And I’ve heard people say, well, in the past, there have been negotiations around raising the debt ceiling. It’s always a tough vote because the average person thinks raising the debt ceiling must mean that we’re running up our debt, so people don’t like to vote on it, and, typically, there’s some gamesmanship in terms of making the President’s party shoulder the burden of raising the — taking the vote. And then there’s some political campaign later that smacks them around for saying, Joe Smith voted to raise the debt ceiling by $2 trillion. And it sounds terrible and it’s a fun talking point for politics, but it always gets done.

And if there is a budget package that includes the debt ceiling vote, it’s not the debt ceiling that is driving the negotiations; it’s just it’s stuck into the budget negotiations, because if you’re going to take a bunch of tough votes anyway, you might as well go ahead and stick that in there.

You have never seen in the history of the United States the debt ceiling or the threat of not raising the debt ceiling being used to extort a President or a governing party, and trying to force issues that have nothing to do with the budget and have nothing to do with the debt.

Extortionists called out for attempted extortion. Thanks, President Obama.

The president seemed hesitant to use that kind of language in his first term, perhaps thinking that there was still hope that he could find sane people in the Republican Party. That ship has sailed and, if anything, they are crazier now because crazy is jockeying for position to be King of the Crazies in 2016.

Besides pointing out the extortion, he puts a lie to the latest Republican fact-challenged statement that the “debt ceiling has often been part of negotiations”. No. Never. Hadn’t happened until the Republicans took over the House in 2011 after a low-turnout mid-term election and parlayed that into some tightly gerrymandered congressional districts that gave them the House again in 2013 despite having lost the popular vote.

It is not surprising that they cite history that never happened in order to create a hostage that no other political party has ever taken. Because next year they will pretend that they were never against Obamacare when it turns out that people like saving money and not going into debt to take care of a sick loved one.

History will not look kindly upon these Republicans. And, if we work hard at Get Out The Vote in 2014, they will more quickly become history.

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