Saturday, February 13 , 2016, 12:11 am | Fair 52º

David Harsanyi: When We Balance the Budget, the Terrorists Have Won

Tea Party gets a bum rap for playing hardball on the debt deal

By David Harsanyi |

You know what they say: One man’s terrorist is another man’s democratically elected congressman.

That’s just one of the many lessons of the debt ceiling compromise, a deal that heralds a new era of electrifying political rhetoric. Nazis are out. Jihadists are in.

The Tea Party “acted like terrorists,” Vice President Joe Biden reportedly said of negotiations. One reasonable New York Times columnist called the Tea Party the “Hezbollah faction” of the GOP, and the other advised the radicals to “put aside their suicide vests” — for now. And in a sweeping assault on the Tea Party, metaphors, syntax and clarity, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews packed everything he’d read on the blogs into a glorious globule of rhetorical confusion.

But fret not. Terrorist analogies are welcome when democracy fails to break to the left. Republicans should never refer to the Congressional Progressive Caucus as a bunch of wealth-destroying jihadists who wear suicide vests packed with prosperity-killing stimulus plans. That kind of overheated hyperbole would be catastrophic, leading to violence and/or another alarmist Diane Sawyer television special. But Bob Beckel is just being cute when he discusses the “tea terrorist party” on Fox News. (He later apologized.)

And it turns out that the extremist freshman wing of the Republican Party (which wing isn’t extreme, though — am I right?) voted 59-28 in favor of the bipartisan “sugar-coated Satan sandwich” debt deal. What kind of namby-pamby hostage takers are these people? (Did you know that 95 House Democrats also voted against raising the ceiling? From what we’ve learned about staggering dangers of fooling around with this policy, we apparently have another 95 nihilists running around D.C.)

If you’re wondering why these elected officials, representing their constituents within the system, are the equivalent of terrorists, a Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania bores to the heart of the matter: “This small group of terrorists,” Mike Doyle explained, “have made it impossible to spend any money.”

Well, damn near impossible. Washington will have to squeeze by on $43,900,000,000,000 over the next decade while wrestling with real cuts that are likely to rise to zero — or maybe less. If we can’t spend money, who are we as a people?

Perhaps it’s because of some psychological ailment such as Stockholm syndrome — and why else would a person believe in libertarian fiscal policy? — that I hope the Tea Party does a better job next time around. It is, after all, silly watching the establishment celebrate a compromise on debt that adds $7 trillion to the nation’s liability and uses a base line that assumes some pretty significant tax hikes.

But you needn’t sympathize with the American Taliban to understand the significance of the day. No amount of hysterics changes the fact that there has been realignment to the national conversation. The country has been radicalized by reality.

A new CNN poll finds that though they rightly disapprove with everyone involved, 65 percent of those polled think that cuts in the debt deal were appropriate. Most polls find that voters believe government is too large and favor spending cuts. Remember that polls showed that most voters were against raising the debt limit at all.

It’s not the terrorists who drive this change. It’s the evidence. It’s the economic suffering that “spreading it around” policy has created. It’s institutionalization of a recession. For a while, at least, those who claim that bankruptcy spending and bullet trains create jobs — no matter how regularly the media offer these myths as fact — can’t be taken seriously.

Fleeting as this shift may be, we were brought a sliver of good news this week. During one glorious day, the United States passed legislation with the sole intention of cutting government rather than “creating” so-called jobs or “investing” in some cockamamie energy boondoggle or “helping” “working families” — which is, of course, the biggest help Washington can offer us. For that, we can thank the “terrorists.”

David Harsanyi is a columnist at The Blaze. Click here for more information, or click here to contact him. Follow him on Twitter: @davidharsanyi.

» on 08.02.11 @ 10:34 PM

That’s right Dave. The left, unable to find one ounce of logic or rational thought in defending its addiction to spending have now gone mad and call those who seek a semblance of reason in government terrorists, how quaint. Ok, I have grown used to the left wing media acting like sore loser crybabies and putting on some spoiled brat pedantic show, but the Vice President? Gee wiz Joe, I’m sorry those nasty little terrorists Tea Partiers won’t let you spend us into bankruptcy. You poor little thing.

The GOP got socked in the jaw by its own base in 2006 because they went along with GW’s spending spree. They were told, “You are not democrats, so stop spending like them and oh by the way you just lost the legislative branch doing it.” In 2010, Barack Obama and his democrat controlled houses, got a similar message, “enough of the spending already you loons!” The Tea Party freshmen elected in 2010 got the message from their constituency, “you work for us, not the country clubber establishment in the GOP, not the president and not the democrats. Do your job as the people’s representative or you are fired!” Well lo and behold they stayed true to that message and for that they are branded every derogatory name in the book.

I got news for you tired old aging drug addled hippies out their and your lunatic offspring, you had your chance and you ran this country into the ground. Now shut the hell up and get out of the way, we have a nation to rebuild.

» on 08.03.11 @ 12:14 PM

It’s about time that Americans woke up and figured out that the political parties we grew up with are no longer what they used to be.  For the most part they have been hijacked by progressives on both sides of the isle.  If you don’t think that’s a problem, go back in history and read about the radical democrats of the late 18th and early 19th century Europe.  Simply put, it’s an ideology that considers the “state” supreme and believes it has the power to control every aspect of our lives.  Don’t believe me?  Just look around.  Look what has happened to our education system.  Look what has happened to free enterprise.  Look what has happened to liberty in general.  The transformation began more than a century ago with arguably the first populist progressive president, Teddy Roosevelt.  Read up on history, it’s very enlightening.

» on 08.03.11 @ 12:45 PM

AN50 I’m loving it.  All this caterwauling just means that we are winning the debate.  Go get ‘em boys.  Push harder.  One question:  This debt deal has future defense and medicare cuts (yea like that will ever happen).  What cuts are agencies like the EPA, Dept of Ed, DoE, etc. going to experience?  Or is it more import to save the spotted, duck billed Wally over Medicare?  Just asking.  I’m sure our regressives will have a nice focus group tested answer.

» on 08.03.11 @ 06:28 PM

Interesting insights.

Has anyone considered that, if Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater were both in
their mid-40s today, neither could probably get nominated or accepted for any
position in the Republican Party anymore?

Listen closely to DeMint, Bachmann, Cantor, the Tea people, and those guys were way too “liberal” for today’s “true conservatives”.

Who cares what Biden or some hack Democrat congressman says about the Tea
Party, or the debt limit?

But when the policies and values that Goldwater or Reagan are no longer good
enough, either, that ought to give pause for thought.

» on 08.03.11 @ 06:56 PM

What we are witnessing is a swinging of the pendulum.  One could argue that both extremes are radical views of the same coin.  The only thing worse than a dictator-led social democracy is a fascist totalitarian state.  The same outcome from different directions. 

I’ve contended for years that if we don’t rein in the rhetoric on both sides and come up with some simple, common sense solutions to what ails us, we’re in for a rough ride.  Effictive political discourse requires moderation and deliberation focused on core values.  If we toss out those core values, i.e., trade liberty for security, then we deserve what we get.  That’s not to say that we give up on security as a tangible asset, but we drop it as an ideology, i.e., the government takes care of us from cradle to grave. 

Like I said, it’s about time that we wake up and take back our government.  They work for us, not the other way around.  The money we make is not the government’s money.  We need to change the dialogue from one about tax breaks, to one about excessive taxation.  The former assumes that the money is already theirs, the latter assumes that the money is ours and we decide whether or not to give it to the government so it can act in our stead.  I realize that making such statement could have me labeled as a traitor or a terrorist, but I’ve never been one to bow down to the almighty state.

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