That’s not even the most irritating part of this. What color is the sky in Mike Doyle’s world, where a “big” debt-ceiling deal that ensures we’ll incur another $6 trillion in debt over the next 10 years has made it “impossible to spend any money”? Let those words echo in your ears while you absorb this truth: The Democrats will never, ever agree to the sort of entitlement reform needed to solve a Greece scenario until a Greece scenario is upon us. It’s really that simple.
But, see, you’re the terrorist.
“We have negotiated with terrorists,” an angry [Rep. Mike] Doyle said, according to sources in the room. “This small group of terrorists have made it impossible to spend any money.”
Biden, driven by his Democratic allies’ misgivings about the debt-limit deal, responded: “They have acted like terrorists,” according to several sources in the room.
Earlier in the day, Biden told Senate Democrats that Republican leaders have “guns to their heads” in trying to negotiate deals…
“They have no compunction about blowing up the economy to get what they want,” Doyle told POLITICO after the meeting.
At least he’s consistent. All along, the left has solemnly assured us that no policy goal, however well intended and dearly held, was worth threatening a default over. To play games with the debt ceiling and risk a global financial meltdown was the definition of irresponsibility, especially with the recovery so fragile and sluggish. And in the end, the GOP agreed: Even conservatives as stalwart as Allen West signed on to a compromise in the name of solving this before the August 2nd deadline. It was the one element of this endless standoff on which the bulk of both sides agreed.
Which is why it would take a very special, very shameless left-wing hack indeed to reverse himself at the eleventh hour and conclude that some policy goals are in fact worth risking a default over. Luckily, I know just the guy:
I guess I have to be explicit at this point: yes, I would vote no.
What about the catastrophe that would result? Several thoughts.
First, what I keep hearing from people who should know is that Treasury won’t actually run out of cash tomorrow, that it still has a few more days.
Second, the people who claim that terrible things would immediately happen in the markets also claimed that there would be a big relief rally once a deal was struck. Not so much: the Dow is down 121 right now.
Third, the idea that a temporary disruption would permanently damage faith in US institutions now seems moot; if you haven’t already lost faith in US institutions, you’re not paying attention.
No tea-party opponent of Boehner’s deal could put it any better. Krugman concludes by encouraging The One to use his “legal options,” which I assume is a reference to the sort of Fourteenth Amendment unilateralism on the debt ceiling that even liberal all-star law prof Laurence Tribe has dismissed out of hand. Follow the last link and read his op-ed in case you missed it last month; it’s admirably clear-eyed about the chaos that move would have caused, from creating a “legal cloud” over new Treasury securities issued on Obama’s order to raising profound constitutional questions about what else a president can do when he feels he needs to act to head off an “emergency.” No wonder Obama refused the Fourteenth Amendment option repeatedly. And yet, and yet…
Rep. DeFazio says Biden told House Dems, if all else had failed, Obama was willing to invoke the 14th Amendment.
Consider it “counterterrorism,” I guess.
Update: “Obama’s Arizona ‘civility speech’ is meaningless if his VP can call opponents terrorists.”
Update: “I’m sure that if Dick Cheney had used the phrase ‘terrorists’ to describe his domestic opponents we’d all just have a good laugh.”
Update: Remember, Politico cited “several sources” — Democratic sources — for the quote. Here’s the obligatory denial:
“I did not use the terrorism word,” Biden told CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor Scott Pelley…
“What happened was there were some people who said they felt like they were being held hostage by terrorists,” he said. “I never said that they were terrorists or weren’t terrorists, I just let them vent.”
Added Biden: “I said even if that were the case, what’s been happening when you now have taken and paid the debt and move that down so we can now discuss, the nuclear weapon’s been taken out of anyone’s hands.”