With the signing of the debt deal, perceived as favorable to the GOP and the Tea Party, a whole mess of nasty rhetoric has come out of the woodwork. You might expect a leftist blog to compare the Tea Party to terrorists. It's a bit more surprising when you see a New York Times columnist claiming that the Tea Party has "waged jihad on the American people." Still, it's only an op-ed column.
However, when the Vice President of the United States says that the Tea Party "acted like terrorists," that's pretty despicable. He was responding to an even blunter comparison from Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa), who flat-out said that a “small group of terrorists have made it impossible to spend any money.”
Look, I realize political debates can get heated. You could call the Tea Party Republicans obstinate, pigheaded, or extremist, and I might agree with you somewhat. You could talk about GOP hypocrisy for not cracking down on spending when Bush was in office, a perfectly valid argument. You could call them cruel and heartless or talk about their supposed allegiance to millionaires and oil companies at the expense of the working class. Fine.
But terrorists? Terrorists want to blow up buildings and trains and kill people, ideally thousands of people. The Tea Party wants to cut government spending--that's it. Some people have tried to argue that the Republicans were leading the country toward default with their reluctance to raise the debt ceiling. That is hogwash. The government would still have had more than enough money to pay interest on the debt. The only way a default could have happened is if Congress decided that paying some bureaucrats in the Department of Energy was more important. The worst-case scenario was a government shutdown a la 1995.
So seriously, enough with the crazy rhetoric, or there might be knife fights in the Capitol before the end of the year.