Robert Ringer is a New York Times No. 1 best-selling author and host of the highly acclaimed "Liberty Education Interview Series," which features interviews with top political, economic and social leaders. His latest book is "The Entrepreneur." To sign up for a free subscription to his pro-liberty, pro-free-market e-letter, A Voice of Sanity, CLICK HERE.More ↓Less ↑
Isn’t it remarkable how the left is railing on and on about how the tea-party members of Congress held the debt-ceiling talks hostage by demanding that there be no tax hikes? They’ve even referred to them as terrorists and suicide bombers, malcontents who ignored the heartfelt pleas of that paragon of unity, Barack Obama, to tone down the rhetoric after the Tucson shootings.
But something doesn’t quite ring true here. If the tea-party contingency sabotaged the debt-ceiling talks, why would a majority of Republicans be so mad at them?
Democratic feigned anger aside, the truth is that what the Republicans actually accomplished was to 1) raise the debt ceiling enough to take the pressure off Obama until after the 2012 elections, 2) fail to make certain that there will be no tax hikes in the near future (trust me, there will be), and 3) rather than cut spending, merely slow the growth of spending (as Republicans have been doing for decades) from an Obama baseline that would have been unheard of even in the George W. Bush years.
Nevertheless, along comes a real radical, CNBC’s Martin Bashir, and conducts an anti-tea-party interview with a left-wing shrink by the name of Stanton Peele. Peele told Bashir (with the utmost objectivity, of course) that tea-party conservatives are “delusional,” “could become a very angry movement” and “could potentially become a violent movement.”
Really? Funny, but in all the tea-party events I’ve been to, I haven’t seen anyone who looks like he has the “potential” to become violent. On the other hand, I’ve seen a lot of union thugs who are violent, but, for some reason, neither Bashir nor Peele mentioned any of those guys. Hmm, that’s weird … I wonder why? Must have just slipped their minds.
At one point, Bashir asked Peele: “So you’re saying that they [the tea-party people] are delusional about the past and adamant about the future?” To which Peele responded, with an air of professional pomposity, “They are adamant about achieving something that’s unachievable, which reminds us of a couple of things: It reminds us of delusion and psychosis. It reminds us of addiction because addicts are seeking something that they can’t have.”
Something they can’t have? Hmm … and here I thought the tea-party candidates won the mid-term elections in a landslide, so gaining control of the House and increasing the number of Republicans in the Senate turned out to be something they could have.
Could it be that Martin Bashir, Dr. Peele and angry Democrats are the ones who are delusional? Do they not understand that history has repeatedly shown that radicalism and violence are overwhelmingly traits of the far (and sometimes not so far) left?
Nevertheless, even though the tea party won the mid-term elections for Republicans, a majority of the GOP, both new and old, failed to do what they were instructed to do. Would that the accusations of the left were true and that Republicans really had held the talks hostage to their demands. But it was not to be.
Members of Congress elected by tea-party voters were not sent to Washington to compromise. They were not sent there to raise the debt ceiling. They were not sent there to “change the debate.” They were not sent there to show how civilized they could be.
The tea party sent Republicans to Washington for the express purpose of CUTTING GOVERNMENT SPENDING – which is why it was breathtaking when John Boehner, after he signed on to yet another of the endless bad deals Republicans have made with Democrats over the decades, said, according to GOP officials on a conference call: “It isn’t the greatest deal in the world, but it shows how much we’ve changed the terms of the debate in this town.” He added that the agreement was “all spending cuts. The White House bid to raise taxes has been shut down.”
Based on his analysis of the Democratic victory over raising the debt ceiling, it is John Boehner and his fellow sellouts in the Republican Party who are also delusional – not the tea-party members.
If you want proof that Martin Bashir, Stanton Peele and John Boehner are all delusional, just take a look at the latest Gallup poll regarding the outcome of the debt-ceiling debate. According to Gallup, 64 percent of Republicans nationwide say they disapprove of the debt-ceiling deal made with the Democrats, and independents disapproved of the deal 50 percent to 33 percent.
On the other side of the coin, Democrats approved of the deal 58 percent to 28 percent, and even liberals approved by a 51 percent to 35 percent margin. The figures pretty much underscore what the end result really was, notwithstanding all the jabber about “changing the debate.”
I should add that the same Gallup poll also found that a majority of Americans believe the debt-ceiling deal will make the economy worse. It certainly didn’t do anything to impress either Wall Street investors or Standard & Poor’s.
Would that the Republicans had thrown a temper tantrum (as Democrats and the left-wing media accused them of doing) and gotten their way. If so, we’d be looking at a very panicked Barack Obama today rather than the same cool community organizer who is focused on raising a billion dollars to aid him in anesthetizing the public once again and winning what should be, based on the results of his presidency, an unwinnable election for him.
Maybe the tea-party people do need to get violent, given that the left will continue to accuse them of doing so regardless of how civil they act. Even if they throw out of office enough RINOs who still don’t get the tea-party message and bring in a whole new group of Republicans who are willing to take a chainsaw to the budget (rather than just getting excited about “changing the terms of the debate” in Washington), the violence that Messrs. Bashir and Peele so worry about is sure to happen anyway.
However, violence that results from real (as opposed to imaginary) spending cuts won’t come from the tea-party folks. It will come from those who are unwilling to give up the good life they’ve become so accustomed to as a result of the government’s redistribution-of-wealth policies.
But let’s see the spending cuts first. We can worry about the violence later.