McCain: This is Obama’s downgrade, not the Tea Party’s

posted at 3:00 pm on August 7, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

John Kerry went on Meet the Press this morning and called S&P’s action on American credit a “Tea Party downgrade.” The longtime Senator from Massachusetts insisted that the dysfunction in the government was the fault of small-government conservatives who refused to add revenue increases to a package of spending cuts that would have achieved a “grand bargain” satisfactory to S&P, Moody’s, and other bond-rating agencies. David Gregory’s next guest was Kerry’s Senate colleague John McCain, last heard castigating Tea Party activists as “Hobbits” who should “return to Middle Earth.” McCain’s tune has changed in the interim, however, as he rejected Kerry’s characterization of the downgrade and instead put it on the man who never had a plan (via The Corner):

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“We could have reached an agreement a lot earlier, but the members of the House of Representatives had a mandate last November, and it was jobs and the economy and it was spending. And for them to then agree to tax increases and spending increases was obviously a repudiation of the mandate they felt they had from last November,” McCain said.

He said that much of the “dysfunction” in the current political system could be attributed to “the failure of the president of the United States to lead.”

“The fact is that the President never came forward with a plan,” McCain pointed out. “There was never a specific plan. There was always the so-called ‘leading from behind.’”

McCain defended the S & P downgrade, saying it would be a mistake to “shoot the messenger.” He said he hoped the downgrade would lead to the congressional super committee looking seriously at entitlement reform.

At one point, John Boehner did have $800 billion in new revenues, achieved through tax reform that broadened the tax base, as a trade for bigger cuts in spending.  However, even that $4 trillion deal would have only dented the upward trajectory of debt, because it focused mainly on discretionary spending instead of serious entitlement reform.  Prior to the deal, we were on track to add $12 trillion in debt over the next ten years, and even a $4 trillion reduction would only mean bringing annual deficits down to $800 billion a year on average.  Take a look at this chart to guess what kind of impact this nibbling at the edges would have produced.

The White House is pushing the “Tea Party downgrade” message pretty heavily today.  Kerry carried Obama’s water on MTP with David Gregory, and David Axelrod did the same on CBS’ Face the Nation.  They even dragged Howard Dean out for CBS to claim that conservatives are “smoking tea” for wanting real reductions in spending and future entitlement liabilities rather than higher taxes.

McCain, however, gets this one right.  Voters sent a clear message in last year’s midterms, and it wasn’t “spend more and increase taxes.”  Democrats refused to listen in 2009 when voters revolted over the addition of another massive entitlement program; voters spent all of 2010 revolting over Obamanomics; and they punished Democrats in November for not listening to them.  Democrats still aren’t listening, and the way they are reacting now, 2012 may make 2010 look like a good year for the Democratic Party.

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“What have they done? You’ve still got above 9 percent unemployment, we’re running record deficits and on Tuesday the president signed the largest increase of United States debt in history,” he continued. “Now, you tell me who’s terrorizing the country?”

J_Crater on August 8, 2011 at 9:03 AM

The Dim’s are right, they just cut the quote too soon. It is the

“We didn’t listen to the Tea Party Downgrade.”

barnone on August 8, 2011 at 9:08 AM

How low has the tea party sunk when their biggest defender is now McLame. BTW, how are the recently elected TP reps who voted yes faring at their town halls? hmmmm.

Kissmygrits on August 8, 2011 at 9:08 AM

The clear perspective (unhindered by blind hatred of McCain) is that he denounced the all-or-nothing TP foolishness when it needed to be denounced, & he praises the TP when they’re right.
McCain is on our (conservative) side most of the time. Too bad most HAers are too knee-jerk reactionary to see that.

itsnotaboutme on August 7, 2011 at 5:17 PM

I agree with your sentiment about McCain, but I don’t think we know the attitude of the people reading these posts what their attitude is about McCain or much of the inside game of the conservatism. The people who bother to write will be more extreme–just as the Paul nuts are the most vocal people in the primary. Rather than insult the readers of Hotair, I think it is best to appeal to their intelligence and hope for the best.

thuja on August 8, 2011 at 9:14 AM

Unbelievable that Obama has been utterly silent on the downgrade. No doubt he is waiting for some polls to see if the Tea Party attacks are working — and I imagine they are. Once he’s got some polling that shows Americans blame the Tea Party, he’ll schedule a prime time lecture and twist the knife.

Rational Thought on August 8, 2011 at 9:15 AM

Harry Truman used to have a sign on his desk saying “The Buck Stops Here.” I guess Barack threw it away. Awww.

Herb on August 8, 2011 at 9:29 AM

The longtime Senator from Massachusetts insisted that the dysfunction in the government was the fault of small-government conservatives who refused to add revenue increases to a package of spending cuts

Nice to see that Ed is dutifully following the White House’s propaganda language. Good for you, Ed! Don’t get sucked into Tea Party’s lame “tax increases” nonsense…

SSSSS/

Jaibones on August 8, 2011 at 9:56 AM

They must think we’re all just utter morons. Disgusting!

Obama had a Democrat Super-Majority in Congress near the beginning of his term. And they were too cowardly to pull the trigger on the tax hikes they claim now were all important without bipartisan cover.

Murf76 on August 8, 2011 at 9:57 AM

The clear perspective (unhindered by blind hatred of McCain) is that he denounced the all-or-nothing TP foolishness when it needed to be denounced, & he praises the TP when they’re right.
McCain is on our (conservative) side most of the time. Too bad most HAers are too knee-jerk reactionary to see that.

itsnotaboutme on August 7, 2011 at 5:17 PM

Yes, wanting to actually cut spending for the first time ever is foolishness.

/

fossten on August 8, 2011 at 10:13 AM

“Tea party downgrade” No surprise from “Swift Boat Leadership”.
But look at McCain! OMg! Smiling, nodding. Our side couldn’t find anybody better!?
Butt kisser has a lot of nerve calling my Grandmother a hobbitt!

onomo on August 8, 2011 at 10:34 AM

It continues to be amusing to see which “idiots” self identify by claiming the “Tea Party Downgrade” banner.

J_Crater on August 8, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Kissmygrits on August 8, 2011 at 9:08 AM

The TEA party didn’t ask him to defend them. Cantor and Ryan have not been off message since day one. Nice try though. (cough cough)

gitarfan on August 8, 2011 at 11:18 AM

We want to win. If one of the joke candidates win, then we stay home or vote third party again.

Spathi on August 7, 2011 at 5:46 PM

Typical. You azzmuppets would rather see America be destroyed by obama than do the right thing.
What a whiney, sniveling mob of titty-babies.

Solaratov on August 8, 2011 at 12:54 PM

So, now just as we finally discover B+AA+rry’s transcripts, …

Arbalest on August 7, 2011 at 11:41 PM

Wait, what?
Are they online? Where? I’ve gotta see this…

Mary in LA on August 8, 2011 at 5:40 PM

Oh, and Spathi, would you vote for a candidate other than Ron Paul if he or she tapped Dr. Paul for a Cabinet position?

Mary in LA on August 8, 2011 at 5:41 PM

This is Obama’s downgrade, not the Tea Party’s

If Obama at least acted like he gave a damn about all this, it would be a little more palatable.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 8, 2011 at 5:41 PM

After all, if it’s Ron Paul or no one for these douchebags, how can you argue that they’re helping to elect Obama by staying home?!

gryphon202 on August 8, 2011 at 4:49 AM

Um, because Obama’s supporters (Unions, other associated rabble) will be voting and for Obama. We’re going to need every single vote we can get to win it and win it by enough that it leaves NO question as to whether or not that child currently occupying the White House lost or not.

Get it?

SuperCool on August 9, 2011 at 6:54 AM

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