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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Let them shut it down

Last time I looked, this was a nation where the majority ruled. So if Tea Party Republicans who control only one of three branches of government want to overreach and demand total victory, let them face the consequences.

House, Senate and White House negotiators have apparently struck a bargain to cut $33 billion from the federal budget. That's more than halfway to their demand to chop $61 billion, even more than half when you toss in the $6 billion or so eliminated as a result of two stop gap budget deals agreed to already.

Not good enough, say the hardliners.
“It’s time to pick a fight,” said Representative Mike Pence, Republican of Indiana, one of his party’s more combative supporters of smaller government. He added, “If liberals in the Senate would rather play political games and shut down the government instead of making a small down payment on fiscal discipline and reform, I say, ‘Shut it down.’ “
Not that the Republicans aren't playing political games, demanding total capitulation after an effort to meet them more than halfway. Certainly no political games being played with a Tea Party rally led by history buff Michele Bachmann, a mere 300 people yelling for the elimination, if among other things, NPR.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tried to focus attention in the proper direction.
“Not a single child, not a single student, not a single teacher, not a single nurse, not a single police officer, not a single senior led us into this recession,” Mr. Reid said, assailing the vast number of cuts to federal spending offered by the House. “Not one, and punishing innocent bystanders will not lead us to a recovery. We’ll continue talking and continue working to find a middle ground."
There's already ample evidence the Tea Party movement is the creation of ultra-conservatives funded by the Koch Brothers and led by "grassroots" types like former House Majority Leader Richard Armey.

And we've already seen they are not afraid to overreach -- even defy the law -- to carry on their ideological crusade.

It's time for Congressional Democrats and the White House to muster the backbone to stand up to this anti-democracy movement and let those on the hard right face the consequences for their extremism -- and to let their supporters understand exactly what our tax dollars pay for.

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