Let Us Look Back at the Calm, Rational Rhetoric of the Debt Ceiling Circus

| August 1, 2011 | 25 Replies

Now that the debt ceiling circus is all over but the voting and back-slapping, why not look back at some of the well-considered and not-at-a–batspit-crazy statements made by certain influential members of the left over the past few days. We can start very near the top, with this nugget of reason from Vice President Joe Biden.

Vice President Joe Biden joined House Democrats in lashing tea party Republicans Monday, accusing them of having “acted like terrorists” in the fight over raising the nation’s debt limit.

Biden was agreeing with a line of argument made by Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) at a two-hour, closed-door Democratic Caucus meeting.

“We have negotiated with terrorists,” an angry Doyle said, according to sources in the room. “This small group of terrorists have made it impossible to spend any money.”

Biden, driven by his Democratic allies’ misgivings about the debt-limit deal, responded: “They have acted like terrorists,” according to several sources in the room.

Hmm. That wasn’t quite what I expected from a leader of the Democrats who, you’ll recall, lectured Tea Party members for their “violent rhetoric” not all that long ago. Perhaps White House adviser and CNN contributor Fareed Zakaria exercised a bit more calm.

…the Tea Party is trying to pass a particular agenda, which is basically this all-cuts budget. It cannot get it through the Congress of the United States. It cannot get it through the political democratic process that we have, which is that Congress passes something and the president must sign it. That’s the normal workings of democracy.

So, instead of accepting some compromise that can get through the democratic process, what they’re saying is we’ll blow up the country if you don’t listen to us. We’ll hold hostage the credit of the United States, the good standing of the United States and we’ll blow it up.

“Blow up” America? Hold it “hostage”? Well, that’s pretty much the Biden line. Gee, I’m beginning to detect a carefully-scripted talking point. Hopefully the hypocrisy ended there. I’d hate to see it spread into, say, Congress.

Rep. Emanuel Clever (D-Mo.) called the newly agreed-upon bipartisan compromise deal to raise the  debt limit “a sugar-coated satan sandwich.”

“This deal is a sugar-coated satan sandwich. If you lift the bun, you will not like what you see,” Clever tweeted Monday.

Good news: no more terrorist analogies. Bad news: Satan? Really? The Prince of Lies himself? I don’t see how the rhetoric could get any more ridiculous!

In an interview with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer, [Former Speaker of the House Nancy] Pelosi said she will “absolutely” vote yes on the compromise package, even though she agreed with one colleague who called it a “Satan sandwich.”

“It probably is – with some Satan fries on the side,” Pelosi said.

Oof! A Satan sandwich with Satan fries? Did she forget the Satan Diet Coke and the little packets of Satan ketchup that would have completely the Infernal Unhappy Meal?

For Pete’s sake, people, this came from the woman who, this time last year, was the Speaker of the House of Representatives — the third in line to the Presidency itself! Satan fries?? It’s hard to imagine how she could have been more incendiary.

Off-cam from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as she walked out of the presser. A reporter continued to press her about the pending resignation of Rep. David Wu (D-OR).

Somewhat exasaparated Pelosi said that Wu “is the least thing on my (mind).


“What we’re trying to do is save the world from the Republican budget,” she said. “We’re trying to save life on this planet as we know it today.”

Yep. That’ll do it.

Maybe her comrades in the House were a little more sensible. After all, no one can be quite as nuts as our newest superhero Nancy “Deposed Speakernator” Pelosi, right?


“I have never witnessed this level of dysfunction in the House and in the Congress as a whole,” said [Democratic Representative William Lacy] Clay, of St. Louis, who was elected in 2000.

“The speaker and the House Republican leadership have allowed a small number of extremists to take the House of Representatives and the economy of the world as hostages,” he asserted.

And we’re back to that well-rehearsed “extremist hostage-taker” talking point. I wonder if every time one of these clowns steps in front of a microphone and spouts the noxious attacks from Democratic Party Headquarters, their soul dies just a little bit more inside.

But of course we’re not done. No left-wing coordinated message would be complete until it’s appeared in the pages of the formerly-great New York Times. And the editorial staff, which has been just a little bit confused lately, did not disappoint.

There is little to like about the tentative agreement between Congressional leaders and the White House except that it happened at all. The deal would avert a catastrophic government default, immediately and probably through the end of 2012. The rest of it is a nearly complete capitulation to the hostage-taking demands of Republican extremists.

One might be tempted to believe this is just the boilerplate attack against the right, and especially the Tea Parties which existence not only vexes the professional progressives to no end but also handed them a historic electoral beatdown just a few months ago. I suppose I can see that. After all, it’s not like anything happened today that might remind people of the last time the left hauled out the “Tea Partiers are hyper-violent extremists” or anything.

No, indeed.

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