What Fresh Hell Is This?

August 2, 2011

Mike Doyle, Joe Biden, and Political Frustration

The fallout from the debt-ceiling vote continues to be felt.

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.

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.”
Some clarification from The Trib, later today:
If only he'd said "hostage-takers" instead of "terrorists."

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."
Before we go any further, let's review some of the rhetoric the tea party has used in the not-so-recent past:
Then there's Ann Coulter:So let's not spend too too much time wringing our hands in despair over how uncivil Congressman Doyle may have been. Unless, of course, they have real thin skin.

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?

Just asking.

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.

Hear, hear.


Maria Lupinacci said...

Good for Mike Doyle! He was spot on.

Of course, I'm a little biased (great minds think alike LOL).

EdHeath said...

So Rand Paul called himself a "Freedom Fighter". What did we call the Mujahideen in Afghanistan in the 1980's when they fought the Soviets? And what did the Mujahideen morph into? Did the Taliban shelter Al Qaeda in the late '90'sm and have come to use tactics like killing civilians when resisting the occupation? Of course, our military, through drones and manned aircraft attacking targets, have also killed civilians. Seems like a lot of people could be terrorists.