If you’re gonna take a hostage, better be willing to shoot them


Chris Matthews, who we in the netroots affectionately call Tweety after the bulbous-head little yellow bird of cartoon fame, had a good analogy for what the Teaparty has done. They’ve taken the money and are demanding the baby as ransom. They got it backwards and have convinced themselves of what geniuses they are.

In the real world no one’s going to pay that ransom. And no matter what kind of hostage is taken, the takers better be willing to shoot it, or at least make the victims believe they’re willing to. And we all know the Republicans won’t light the money on fire and Obama won’t hand over the baby even if they did.

WaPo — On Tuesday afternoon, the House GOP adopted Cruz’s latest tactic, aimed at passing several smaller federal spending measures that would fund the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Park Service and the District of Columbia. Heritage, under the leadership of conservative godfather and former South Carolina senator Jim DeMint, has raised record amounts of money and goaded activists into pressuring Republican members of Congress.The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and business interests from across the country, on the other hand, have tried to influence the debate. In a letter sent last week, the Chamber virtually begged Congress to pass a continuing resolution and raise the debt ceiling. What would once have been a powerful message putting Congress on notice failed to move the debate in any meaningful way.

It’s only fitting. The Chamber of Commerce spent more money on conservative candidates in the last election cycle by about 100-to-one. Just rewards.


  1. Al Dente says

    The Chamber of Commerce types who thought they owned the Republican Party are discovering the Teabaggers stole the party out from under them. The Wall Streeters don’t care about the social issues, they’re pushing low taxes for the rich and deregulation. They couldn’t care less if gays get married or if abortion is restricted. But they pay lipservice to the religious right’s issues to keep the party faithful in line. Now they’re put on notice that the Teabaggers don’t care if the economy tanks if the social issues get enacted.

  2. abusedbypenguins says

    The chamber of commerce is what, oh, yeah, a union for business so they can get all they want. If labor wants a union these creatures froth at the mouth with indignation that labor is tired of being shit on. Oh, yeah, christianity is a union for the intellectually challenged and uneducated who can follow orders.

  3. raven says

    I’ve been reading a wide range of opinion to try to see how this all ends. No one knows. I hope Paul Krugman weighs in.

    The debt ceiling might not be such a big deal.

    1. As someone posted on Dispatches, article 14 of the constitution says the US debt may not be questioned. That may give Obama the power to just ignore it. (As it turns out, the US has in fact, defaulted twice, last time in 1933 when we went off the gold standard.)

    2. A few people claim, Paul Craig Roberts is one, that the US President has an array of emergency powers to safeguard the nation and might be able to use those. I have no idea what they are or if this is even true.

    3. In any event, I’m sure if Obama just waves his hands and declares the debt ceiling null and void, it will end up at the Supreme court. And what happens next is….who knows.

    If it happens, it happens and Obama should just try it. Nothing to lose by that point.

  4. raven says

    I suspect what will end this is Wall Street, the banks, and corporations-Big Business putting pressure on the GOP.

    If the US goes down, we citizens go down with it. I can’t see that the Tea Party cares one bit.

    But, if the US goes down, so does Big Business. And they care passionately about one thing, their money.

    Reports are that so far, they don’t seem too interested or eager to step in though. Good luck getting bailed out again if the US is broke and can’t borrow.

  5. lorn says

    Powerful and wealthy business types have a tendency to think they can assemble a monster to do their bidding and it will remain in their control:

    The CIA favored the Mujaheddin with money, organization, training to fight the Russians. The monster they created did what they wanted but they couldn’t shut it down and it went off to become Al-Qeada.

    National Socialism in early 1930s were a small political party with little power. It was the wealthy business interests in Germany that thought the NS might be useful and funded it. They wrote about being sure they could control it. When the time came to exert control and reign in the NS it was too late.

    The Koch brothers, CoC, and other wealthy interests helped create the Teaparty and redistrict them into safe congressional districts. They built the monster, gave it a job to do, and clapped gleefully as it took over the GOP and shut down the government. The Teapartiers had openly said their goal was a shutdown before they got elected. But now, job done, and point made, the monster has stopped obeying their creators.

    It isn’t a new story. Mary Shelley published “Frankenstein” in 1818.

  6. raven says

    Make of this what you will. It’s always possible Obama might change his mind if he has to.

    From:Obama Does Not Rule Out Taking Action On The Debt Ceiling By Himself
    By Brett LoGiurato | Business Insider – 5 hours ago

    The possibility that Obama will have to work around Congress to raise the debt has been increasingly discussed by analysts over the past week.

    Some — including President Bill Clinton — have said he can do that by invoking the 14th Amendment, a Reconstruction-era amendment that says that “the validity of the public debt of the United States … shall not be questioned.”

    But usually, he and members of his administration make a point of noting that it is not a legally-tenable option. Just this past week, on a conference call previewing a report warning of the economic catastrophe of breaching the debt ceiling, a Treasury Department official said the administration doesn’t believe anyone except Congress can raise the debt ceiling.

    And here’s what Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters in the daily press briefing on Thursday:

    “This administration does not believe that the 14th Amendment gives the power to the President to ignore the debt ceiling.

  7. says

    It reminds me of a story my parents told me about “The Ransom of Red Chief” – in which some kidnappers grab a child (who thinks he is a mighty warrior and is the greatest brat ever) and after a couple days of dealing with the horrible child, pay the parents a substantial amount to take him back.

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