In the past it was the Japanese who attacked the nation, or on 9/11 it was fanatical elements of a bastardized form of Islam that tried to take the nation down. This time the terrorists are from the Tea Party who have used the debt limit debate as a way to gin the nation into a crisis.
This is gritty stuff, and the teabaggers that are taking the nation off the cliff should be treated as terrorists for the shameless blackmailing of the United States government.
For that is exactly what they are trying to do.
They must be defeated just like any other attack on this nation.
This story from the Washington Post tonight paints an image that one does not see everyday in the press. Veteran reporters and wizened politicians have not seen something like this staring down at them before.
Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid announced late Saturday that negotiations with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and the White House had made enough progress that he would delay consideration of his own legislation to avert the debt crisis.
Rather than a 1 a.m. Sunday vote, Reid said he would give the negotiators room to maneuver and set a 1 p.m. Sunday vote on his bill — which McConnell has already assured would be defeated.
A sense of desperation had settled over the Capitol on Saturday, with the prospect of a government default and rank-and-file lawmakers pleading with their leaders to set politics aside and strike a bipartisan deal to raise the federal debt limit.
After months of negotiation and weeks of debate, every black-and-white plan for cutting government spending and raising the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling seemed either doomed or had already been shot down.
As the battle entered its final tense hours, the nation’s leaders were left bickering among themselves, unable to agree on even a modest version of the plan they said they were on the verge of sealing barely one week ago. The remaining differences between them were not especially large. Still, a resolution appeared elusive.
Unless Congress acts before Tuesday, Treasury officials have said they will begin to run out of cash to pay the nation’s bills. That could force the government into default, an outcome that could devastate the sputtering U.S. recovery and global financial markets. Over the past week, the Dow Jones industrial average fell nearly 540 points amid rising anxiety about the debate in Washington.
To bridge the divide, lawmakers and administration officials were trying to design a mechanism to force the committee to act, giving Republicans their cuts and Obama his debt-limit increase. Many ideas were in play from both parties, and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said his staff had drafted three into formal legislation.
But aides said the sticking point remained Republican opposition to a trigger that would force automatic tax increases if the committee failed in its work. Democrats, meanwhile, opposed any trigger that only cut spending, saying that it would not give Republicans sufficient incentive to work with Democrats toward a compromise.
Republican members booed Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who accused Boehner of going “to the dark side” when he rewrote his debt-limit bill to add required passage of a balanced budget amendment — a change designed to appeal to his far-right wing.
Pelosi turned to look at them, and said it again with emphasis. “Let me repeat, he chose to go to the dark side.”
The atmosphere was just as tense and bitter in the Senate, where McConnell delivered a letter to Reid signed by 43 Republicans declaring their opposition to his version of the debt-limit bill.
Four Republican senators did not sign the letter: Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Scott Brown of Massachusetts. But there was little evidence that Reid’s bill could muster the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster — a fact Reid tacitly acknowledged when he rejected McConnell’s offer to stage a vote Saturday evening.