On Face The Nation, Howard Dean painted the tea party as stoner extremists who ought to try drinking their tea instead of smoking it.
Here’s the video from CBS News:
Dean was asked about David Axelrod blaming the tea party for the S&P downgrade. He answered, “Well, here’s the deal here. I happen to agree with David, I think this is a tea party problem, I think they are totally unreasonable, and doctrinaire and not founded in reality, I think they’ve been smoking some of that tea and not just drinking it, but the fact of the matter is, the President is going to get the blame and the credit for what goes right whether he deserves or not. That’s what Presidents do. So, sure if he going to get some of the blame for this, yes, this is a serious thing, if you look at the Standard and Poor’s report, three times they mentioned that our unwillingness to raise revenues was going to make it impossible for us to regain our credit rating. That’s a pretty clear signal. The American people are there, the Democrats are there, a lot of reasonable Republicans are there, but they are terrified of these right wing splinter groups, the radical right, because they are so powerful in the primaries.”
Dean came out today said that the tea party is completely detached from reality. In essence, he was saying that you have to be high to believe that the debt deal was good thing for America. The former DNC chairman was correct in his assessment that the American people, the Democrats, and the reasonable Republicans are all on the page. The chaos comes from the fact that the Republican leadership is terrified of the tea party.
People talk about Obama caving to the Republicans, what about the Republican Party caving to a fringe group of right wing zealots? Why isn’t the GOP leadership being criticized for having no spine? When John Boehner had a choice, why did he give in to the tea party instead of working with House Democrats on a deal that could be passed without the tea partiers? Instead of bypassing the tea party, Boehner crumbled and gave in.
The House GOP leadership caused the debt ceiling crisis in order to pander to the tea party, so deserve the blame now that their big political gambit has hurt every single American.
Democrats have been on the offensive since S&P downgraded US debt on Friday night. Dean and other Democrats have seen the polls. They know how unpopular this debt deal was, and they also know that Republicans are being blamed by the American people for the deal and the way it was negotiated. The Democratic Party doesn’t deserve blame for intentionally causing the crisis that led to this downgrade. Democrats don’t control the House, and they aren’t the party that refused to pass a clean debt ceiling bill. This is all on the GOP and their tea party extremists.
By calling the tea party a right wing splinter group, Dean subtly reinforced the idea that the tea party is practicing something akin to political terrorism. They are not in the mainstream, and they will use any means necessary to get what they want.
Dean’s point was that America has been hijacked by a band of radicals who are high on their own ideology. When is the Republican Party going to learn that taking advice and policy guidance from a stoner is never a good idea?
The tea party either needs to put down the pipe and get sober, or their ideological addiction is going to take us all down with them.