I expect this type of behavior from the Democrats – although admittedly, they’ve rarely sunk so low as to call us “terrorists” – but the actions of the Republican leadership during this debt ceiling debate just serves to illustrate how little they have learned from the last election.
The Tea Party is the reason that the Republicans gained control of the House, and if more Democratically-held Senate seats were up for grabs last November, we would have taken the Senate. We didn’t make the gains we did because of John Boehner. We didn’t make them because of John McCain. We made them because of the time and passion and energy the Tea Party activists put in. John Boehner is Speaker of the House because of the Tea Party.
Yet Tea Party members (and the Republican freshmen they put into office) are the fringe, sabotaging party victories and (according to the Democrats) the economy. Fact is, all the Tea Party has done has been to repeat the principles they were fighting for in 2010.
Don’t raise taxes. Cut spending. Fiscal discipline.
Not radical, not crazy, not terroristic. Common sense stuff here. Most of us loved Cut, Cap and Balance, which our Republican “leadership” undermined from the start. They caved. They buckled. Without even trying. But we were supposed to rally behind Boehner and his plan(s?), no matter how watered down, no matter how weak, no matter how little it did, because it was “the best we could get.” And if we didn’t, we were pro-Obama? I don’t buy that, the Tea Party doesn’t buy it, and the Republican leadership knew it wasn’t true. What is true is that they didn’t want to fight.
What they should have done is stuck with CCB, because it was good. They knew it was. They should have kept pushing forward, defined the debate, let Democrats explain why they were against cutting spending and a balanced budget amendment. Instead they capitulated to the left while insulting their base. Disgraceful.
The one good thing that has come out of this is that the Tea Party will be nice and riled up for 2012 (as if we needed more excuses!). And as Sarah Palin mentioned – we still believe in contested primaries. Game on.