Like the old guy who operates the terrifying machine in the Wizard of Oz, the Tea Party stands exposed before the world this morning. All it took was a little guts on the part of House Speaker John Boehner.
After cowering before the gang of bullies in Congress for the past three years, Boehner finally found the courage to act like a rational human being. He introduced a common-sense bill authorizing a normal increase in the amount America can borrow to pay its debts, and it sailed through the House with Democrats and mainstream Republicans voting for it.
The “clean” bill – no strings attached – will certainly win approval in the Senate and get President Obama’s signature in due course. Goodbye debt-ceiling crisis. So much for the big, bad Tea Party caucus.
If only Boehner had seen the light earlier! This Congress could have done some useful work, instead of being a bad joke.
But he was afraid to get the crazies worked up. Fueled by the Koch Brothers’ bottomless bank account, Tea Party candidates have defeated several mainstream Republican candidates in recent primaries, and party officials are gun shy. Especially Boehner. He has groveled before the Tea Party caucus in fear of losing his job as speaker.
But the Mad Hatter crew couldn’t decide on the ransom they wanted this time. Some wanted one concession from the President, others wanted another … and being the ragtag rabble that they are, they couldn’t settle on any one demand.
They were also facing a determined President Obama, who simply wasn’t going to bargain with them this time. Raising the debt limit was the normal thing to do – the right thing to do – and that was that as far as he was concerned. America’s “good faith and credit” was not going to be put at risk again. It cost the country too much the last time. Remember?
Just shows what happens when the President stands his ground, doesn’t it? The bullies lose.
Click for more on debt ceiling default implications.