One of Obama’s senior advisors Dan Pfeiffer was speaking in the context of the debt ceiling, which we’re set to hit in mid-October. It’ll end up getting raised at the last minute after Republicans and Democrats put on a show for their constituents.
Right now, the Dems’ job is to make Republicans out to be terrorists and criminals, holding Americans hostage with the debt ceiling. And since Dems don’t “negotiate with terrorists,” they’re saying that there’s no deal. The GOP has apparently agreed to raise the debt ceiling if the White House agrees to a few things, including delaying Obamacare’s individual mandate for one year and beginning construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. That of course isn’t going to happen, but at least the GOP leadership can go back to their constituents and tell them that they tried.
Here was Dan Pfieffer on CNN, speaking of the House GOP:
“What we’re not for is negotiating with people with a bomb strapped to their chest. We’re not going to do that… Republicans are not asking for a negotiation. It’s a negotiation if I’m trying to sell you my house, and we are debating the price of it. It’s not a negotiation if I show up at your house and say, ‘Give me everything inside or I’m going to burn it down.’… Republicans have provided a laundry list of essentially ransom demands of things that were essentially the Romney agenda that voters rejected.”
He’s just trying to be shocking. But it’s so over the top that it comes across as ludicrous. Look, I don’t like the GOP leadership either. I think they’re weak and spineless and only concerned about power and money. Of course, that also describes the Democrats. They’re all playing the same game here.
But calling House Republicans suicide bombers and arsonists just because they’re (ostensibly at least) trying to hold the line on the debt ceiling issue is stupid. If Pfeiffer wants to call the weak leadership all those horrible things, imagine what he must think of the Tea Party people like Rand Paul and Justin Amash. (Of course, no one cares what he thinks anyway.)
Or Ted Cruz. Here’s Al Gore calling the GOP “political terrorists” for their effort to defund Obamacare:
“Now I’m going to talk about the potential for a shutdown in just a moment, but I think the only phrase that describes it is political terrorism. ‘Nice global economy you got there, it’d be a shame if we had to destroy it. We have a list of demands. If you don’t meet them all by our deadline, we’ll blow up the global economy’ …really? Where are the American people in this? Why does partisanship have anything to do with such a despicable and dishonorable threat to the integrity of the United States of America? It cannot be allowed… You didn’t succeed in the constitutional process, by which this was considered, and now you want to threaten to not only shut down our government, but to blow up the world economy unless we go back and undo what we did according to the processes of our democracy? How dare you? How dare you?”
I guess Gore and Pfeiffer must have gotten the same e-mail about using ridiculously over-the-top rhetoric in attacking anyone who is in favor of a fiscally responsible government. That e-mail probably came from Homeland Security. According to them, if you’re critical of the government at all, that makes you a terrorist.