“I do not understand what I think is the maligning and maliciousness [toward] this president,” said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. “Why is he different? And in my community, that is the question that we raise. In the minority community that is question that is being raised. Why is this president being treated so disrespectfully? Why has the debt limit been raised 60 times? Why did the leader of the Senate continually talk about his job is to bring the president down to make sure he is unelected?”
As is often the case, and is especially often the case with Lee, we are faced with the puzzle of deciding whether an irresponsible and unfair statement by an elected official arises out of a conscious exercise in cynical and dirty politics, or because the elected official involved is just dumb as a box of pet rocks. In this case, my guess would be “both.”
Gee, Congresswoman, I don’t know…I’d guess that the reason this President is facing unprecedented resistance to raising the debt limit has something to do with the fact that for the first time in history, the U.S. is facing an unsustainable level of debt in the middle of an employment crisis that wasn’t helped when that same President grossly expanded the debt on the theory that it would provide economic stimulus that never materialized, that his Democratic Congress spent like a drunken sailor and would have continued to do so if the public hadn’t sent a group of budget hawks to Washington with marching orders to cut spending, and because the President’s response to the debt has been to refuse to accept cuts to the areas in the budget that will have to be cut, sooner or later, if the U.S. is going to avoid the fate of Greece.
But hey, if you think the best way to win the argument is to appeal to racial divisions while the President is appealing to class divisions, you go right ahead. There’s no reason why only Republicans should be exposed as incompetent and reckless, like those advocating allowing the country to default on its financial obligations. All in all, however, I have more respect for clueless extremists who may be dangerous and wrong-headed, but at least are pressing their position on the substance of their arguments, rather than lazy race-baiters whose default tactic in every conflict is to play the race card.
Like, for example, you.