Aug 3, 2011

Phoney Hostage Taking and Limited Presidential Range

Rob Nikolewski
While a healthy number of fiscal hawks on the Republican side voted against the debt ceiling deal, it’s the reaction from Democrats that has been the most, uh, what’s the word? Incendiary? Irate? Or just sanctimonious? A congressman from Pennsylvania called Tea Party supporters terrorists during a closed-door meeting with Vice President Biden. The online journal Politico reported ”several sources in the room” said Biden agreed with the terrorist label, although Biden strenuously denied using the word in an interview with CBS News. New Mexico Sen. Jeff Bingaman is lauded by his supporters as being even-tempered but in a conference call, he said this about conservative efforts in the debt ceiling debate: “One of the commentators here in Washington called this ‘government at gunpoint’ and I don’t think that’s a bad description.” Words like “hostage taking” and “extortion” are on the lips of Democrats across the board now that the debt deal is done, including New Mexico House members Ben Ray Luján and Martin Heinrich. It’s odd that these words are being used just as Democratic congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords returned to take her seat in the House.
Gabrielle Giffords
Aren’t these many of the same Democrats who lectured the country after Giffords was shot that people (read: Republicans, conservatives, Tea Party followers, Sarah Palin) should refrain from using words conveying violent images? President Obama said at the time we should ”make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.” Of course, that was poppycock then and it’s poppycock now. Tough language has always been a part of politics and those who pretend to get the vapors when they hear anything scabrous are simply whining or, to be more accurate, trying to defang their opponents by pretending to take the high road. Hell, I thought that line about the debt deal being a “Satan sandwich” was pretty funny. But spare me the self-righteousness and outright hypocrisy of wagging your finger at “the level of discourse” in politics today when you use the very language you supposedly deplore when your side takes it on the chin. Read full column here: News New Mexico

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