Once upon a time the tea party was fairly relevant. Not any more. Once upon a time Republicans were turning themselves inside out to try to tame a supremely popular President they both feared and hated, a President who was willing, once upon a time, to do a little stretching to accommodate both sides of the aisle. Not any more.
America doesn’t negotiate with terrorists – which is exactly why President Obama is spot on when he said that he won’t negotiate with Republicans over the debt ceiling, will not grant them anything on their “wish list” (which consists of all of Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan’s plans and policies, with a little pot-sweetener of “major perks for coal companies and Wall Street banks, alongside healthcare and social service cuts and a one-year delay in the implementation of Obamacare”).
“I will not negotiate on anything when it comes to the full faith and credit of the United States of America.”
President Obama went on to say, “No Congress before this one has ever, ever, in history, been irresponsible enough to threaten default, to threaten an economic shutdown, to suggest America not pay its bills, just to try to blackmail a president into giving them some concessions on issues that have nothing to do with a budget . . . we’re not a deadbeat nation, we don’t run out on our tab . . . .”
As President Obama correctly noted, Republicans are engaged in an “unprecedented effort” to scorch the earth in order to get their way on “completely unrelated policy items.” They’re terrified that the Affordable Care Act will go over big with Americans; even Ted Cruz conceded that they have a limited window of time to derail Obamacare before people, you know, like it, and it becomes too politically toxic for Republicans to try to strip them of it.
President Obama has set his heels:
“We’re not going to submit to this kind of total irresponsibility. Congress needs to pay our bills on time. Congress needs to pass a budget on time. Congress needs to put an end to governing from crisis to crisis. Our focus as a country should be on creating new jobs and growing our economy and helping young people learn, and restoring security for hard-working middle-class families . . . If Republicans do not like the law, they can go through the regular channels and processes to try to change it. That’s why we have elections.”