I’ve been out of the loop for personal reasons (good personal reasons) the last two days or so and missed the finalization of the debt deal and yesterday’s votes, occasionally checking an email here and a tweet there. But listening to today’s morning news, you’d think absolutely nothing got done. Is no one happy with this deal? Or at least relieved that we didn’t go down the default drain? Apparently not.
Democrats are angry because there are no revenue increases in this deal and only spending cuts (which in my opinion were inevitable anyway). But they got the debt ceiling raised a significant amount and don’t have to deal with more GOP hostage taking bullshit until 2013. Republicans are angry that there weren’t any entitlement cuts, that they didn’t magically privatize Social Security or gut and voucherize Medicare or didn’t throw the poor down the sewer by dismantling Medicaid, but according to that stalwart “leader” John Boehner, he got 98% of what he wanted. And yet Boehner couldn’t get the Tea Party to join in. 66 “No” votes on the Republican side. So apparently no one is happy.
And yet this morning, if you were to listen to Morning Joke™’s Joe Scaroborough, you’d think it was only Democrats that were angry and were speaking in hyperbole. Scarborough was extra cranked today, on his fourth cup of Starbucks Venti Caramel Macchiasshole while sidekick Mike Brzezinski expressed her disgust for the trigger mechanism in the bill with a look that could easily be confused with her eating a few too many Activia yogurts.
The mocking tones were a new low, even for Scarborough, mimicking voices of disgruntled opponents of the passage of the deal (only on the Democratic side mind you), while Mika giggled like a wet-pantied schoolgirl at the sight of Senators Tom Coburn and John Thune appearing on their show. Then in a complete 180, Scarborough looked at the votes and expressed that the adults in the room were actually the Democrats and praised Senators Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid for their willingness to compromise.
Panelist John Heillman’s jaw hit the floor and took Scarborough to task: “You can’t sit there and praise McConnell and Reid for compromising without simultaneously criticizing Tea Party for not compromising,” said Heillman. Joe’s answer: “Yes, I can. You know why? Because I feel like it.” And there in a nutshell, is Scarborough’s very serious punditry.
The Republicans got 98% of what they wanted and it still wasn’t good enough for the Tea Party? Both sides, Democratic and Republican, have to marginalize the emergence of these people. The Democrats need to for the danger they pose to the country, and that’s not hyperbole. The rogue Tea Party members of the House pushed the country to the brink of default and the world to the edge of economic ruin when they continued to defy any deal that their own House Speaker could muster. Not until after Boehner’s own plan was rewritten three times and a balanced budget amendment was added, was there enough support to pass a bill which everyone knew would die in the Senate. A purely symbolic vote that wasted a week.
And the Republicans need to take care of Tea Party rogues for the danger they pose to the demise of their own party. If 80 members of the Republican party can hold up all legislation (only 13 bills have been passed in Congress since January) what does that say for the strength of “real” Republicans? At this pace, they’ll become 21st Century Whigs.
Meanwhile, Jon Stewart nails it once again
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