On Friday’s PBS NewsHour, liberal chinstroker Mark Shields accused Congressional Republicans of issuing a “non-negotiable terrorist demand” in the debt-ceiling rumpus on Capitol Hill – namely, the requirement for passage of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution before the debt limit could be raised.
Discussion Topic #1:
If a Republican had said that about Democratic lawmakers’ demands for tax increases, would it have gotten this little response in the news media?
Discussion Topic #2:
Remember back in 2004 when Ron Suskind wrote a New York Times piece about the Bush administration that featured this anecdote?
In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn’t like about Bush’s former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House’s displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn’t fully comprehend — but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.
The aide said that guys like me were ”in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who ”believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ”That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. ”We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”
Welcome to Reality 2.0.
Can we agree that Tea Party Republicans are living in a parallel universe? Asking for Congress to pass a balanced budget amendment is like saying “We won’t raise the debt limit until Sheryl Crow endorses Charmin.”
Not. Gonna. Happen.
Arizona Sen. John McCain (R-Just Tell Me What You Want Me To Be) called them “tea party hobbits.” The hardworking staff calls them teatotalers.