From Politico, today:
Vice President Joe Biden joined House Democrats in lashing tea party Republicans Monday, accusing them of having “acted like terrorists” in the fight over raising the nation’s debt limit, according to several sources in the room.Some clarification from The Trib, later today:
Biden was agreeing with a line of argument made by Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) at a two-hour, closed-door Democratic Caucus meeting.
“We have negotiated with terrorists,” an angry Doyle said, according to sources in the room. “This small group of terrorists have made it impossible to spend any money.”
If only he'd said "hostage-takers" instead of "terrorists."Before we go any further, let's review some of the rhetoric the tea party has used in the not-so-recent past:
U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Forest Hills, said he wasn't comparing Tea Party members with terrorists when he used the word during a closed-door caucus meeting Monday, but was expressing frustration at President Obama's negotiating tactics, which he said gave in too quickly to GOP demands in the debt ceiling debate.
"Had I simply said hostage-taker, there wouldn't be this reaction. I certainly wasn't out to defame anybody," said Doyle, who couldn't recall the exact statement he made. "I wasn't talking about the Tea Party. I was talking about the tactic (of) telling us if we don't go along with this bad deal, they're going to blow the economy up."
By the way, why isn't anyone complaining about how Senator Rand Paul called President Obama a hostage taker? He did:
“With the president holding the American economy hostage, I would prefer to think of myself as a Freedom Fighter,” Paul said in a statement.Hey, don't terrorists take hostages? Will we be seeing Tea Party favorite Rand Paul apologizing any time soon for his inappropriate rhetoric?
But crude political metaphors aside, what was Doyle thinking? In a phone interview on Tuesday evening, he stressed out frustrated he was with the Obama administration. It was that frustration that bubbled over into the "terrorist" metaphor.
He was frustrated at how the Obama Administration's fumbling of these "negotiations" (I mean really, how do you "negotiate" with those who won't compromise?) has left the Democratic party in a bad situation. How can we do any infrastructure now? He asked. How can they work on any of the Administration's policies now? It wasn't a compromise, he said. It was a surrender.
He was frustrated at how the Tea Party is running the GOP. Speaker Boehner has no control over the caucus, he said. Who are we negotiating with? When the Speaker floated his own plan, his own caucus rejected it.
He was frustrated that the Democratic Party doesn't want to defend itself. There are too many timid Democrats. If we're not willing to defend ourselves, he said, we'll loose.
He was frustrated at the surrender. Me, too. Me, too.
It's time to slip on the battle armor, he said, and fight a little bit.