Referring to the U.S.’s new credit rating from Standard & Poor’s, John Kerry (D-MA) was simply telling it like it is when he said on Meet the Press: “I believe this is without question the Tea Party downgrade. This is the Tea Party downgrade because a minority of people in the House of Representatives countered even the will of many Republicans in the United States Senate who were prepared to do a bigger deal.”
Watch the video from MSNBC:
Barack Obama put a $4.7 trillion deal on the table. Three times he was refused the deal. There were some people in the Republican Party and Mitch McConnell even admitted this who wanted to default. He said there were people in his party who were willing to shoot the hostage. In the end, they found that the hostage was worth ransoming. This not about ransom. It’s about our nation, it’s our country, it’s about growth, it’s about statesmanship. I know John McCain and I know many of his colleagues in the senate are willing to sit down and be serious about how we deal with this quickly, because our nation’s security, our nation’s future is at stake in an unprecedented way.
Sen. Kerry was trying to appeal to the adults remaining in the Republican Party but John McCain, perhaps suitably chastised after going after his own party in July reverted to his ’08 election platform’s talking points in response:
“I agree that there is dysfunction in our system, and a lot of it has to do with the failure of the president of the United States to lead,” responded Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. “The fact is that the president never came forward with a plan. I was gratified to hear that he had plans, but it was never a specific plan, it was always the so-called leading from behind.”
Apparently, everything President Obama has said for the past two years has gone in one ear and out another, including the debt deals Sen. Kerry refers to. Republicans kept saying, “Where is Obama’s plan?” He had one. He offered it and they kept ignoring it. It’s time for some honesty in all this rhetoric. It really doesn’t matter what the President says, as Republicans have made clear each and every time he opens his mouth, quickly re-framing his statements to match their ideological position.
Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, is able to see things more clearly:
“We need a balanced approach. And the extremism, the Tea Party obstructionism here in Washington, is keeping us from restoring that balanced approach that America has always used of investing in the future, investing in job creation, and also being fiscally responsible at the same time.”
This is simple fact. The Republicans and Tea Partiers in the House have failed to create a single job. They’re too busy putting spies in our bedrooms and trying to de-fund the president’s teleprompter. And of course, as DNC Chairman Howard Dean said on Face the Nation,
“I think this is [the] Tea Party’s problem. I think they’re totally unreasonable and doctrinaire and not founded in reality. I think they’ve been smoking some of that tea, not just drinking it.”
What’s amusing is that McCain actually claimed that comments like Kerry’s aren’t going bring the parties together, this after two years of being demonized by the Tea Party.
“Talking about hostages? Lately the Democrats have been calling us terrorists. So, we need to lower that level of rhetoric obviously.”
It’s a little late for McCain to be talking about lowering the level of rhetoric. Why didn’t that occur to him in ’08 when he was palling around with secessionists on the national stage? McCain has shown he can spew rhetoric with the best of them.
Somehow in GOP/Tea Party eyes, President Obama is responsible for the debt, just like 9/11 seems somehow to have taken place on his watch and both wars seem to have become “his” wars. But it’s easy to see where the debt came from. As Kerry explained on Meet the Press,
In the 1990s we balanced the budget. We did it without a constitutional amendment. We balanced the budget, we created 21 million new jobs and we put ourselves on a glide path to pay off our debt for the first time since Andrew Jackson by next year. That changed when we went into credit card debt, two wars, two tax cuts. we couldn’t afford them and boom! 6.- some trillion in debt goes to George Bush, 2.4 goes to Obama and Obama’s was largely in response to George bush and Hank Paulson asking us to bail out the financial structure of America.
It’s an easy enough matter to go back over the past two years, making two columns, one with comments by Democrats about Republicans and the Tea Party and one with comments by Republicans and Tea Partiers about Democrats. If you do so, you will quickly see where the divisiveness comes from. The facts are there: President Obama tried to reach across the aisle from the moment he took office. He has taken an intense amount of heat from his own supporters for trying so hard to come to some sort of accommodation with conservatives. It is an outrage that those conservatives now pretend that it was Obama all along who refused to compromise.
The Tea Party is finally getting the attention it deserves if not the attention it wants. FOX News can call it “blame game” vitriol but isn’t “cruel and better criticism” what the Tea Party deserves for what it has done to America? They played their hostage game openly and publicly and I fail to see how cruel and bitter does not also apply to them. There is an old saying: you reap what you sow. It is one the Tea Party should become intimately familiar with, because it perfectly describes their future.