In the aftermath of the debt ceiling deal struck between congressional Republicans, congressional Democrats and the White House, concessions made by Democrats have caused some on the left to lash out at the Tea Party. But where is this show of anger — with epithets like “hostage takers,” “terrorists” and “thugs” flying around — coming from?
On Tuesday’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” Bill O’Reilly suggested it was a concerted effort, organized by the left with the intention of marginalizing the Tea Party. But Washington Post columnist and Fox News Channel regular Charles Krauthammer said the situation is far simpler. He said instead it was a show of their “lack of intelligence” and “lack of originality.”
“Well, it certainly is a spitting and the sputtering of people who are, who’ve been deeply defeated,” Krauthammer said. “I mean, they were routed. They were up against a small minority of one half of one-third of the Congress and they got — they lost everything. They got routed. Look, this was their Agincourt, you know, Henry V outnumbered by the French, three to one. The opposition, the liberals, hold the Senate. They hold the White House. They hold the media, which had been leaking and parroting the White House line all the way through, and they still got defeated.
“I think this is sort of a pathetic response. If you have no arguments, what do you do? Ad hominems. You attack, you throw names out. But I have one slight disagreement with you [about this] being a conspiracy. I don’t think these people have the wherewithal to orchestrate a three-car motorcade. The reason for the repetition is lack of intelligence and lack of originality. These are people who are slothful.”
Despite Krauthammer’s low regard for the Tea Party’s left-wing detractors, O’Reilly insisted talking points were still circulating, which suggested a concerted effort. Krauthammer dismissed that notion.
“Look, what it means to me is you’ve got people with no intelligence, no originality, no imagination,” he said. “They are sputtering. They have lost. No arguments. What do they do? They want ad hominems. They want epithets. So, somebody uses it on the air — ‘Ah ha, that’s a good one. I’ll use it.’ I don’t credit them [with] the intelligence or the sort of, what it takes to put together a conspiracy.”
O’Reilly alluded to early attacks on the Tea Party which suggested its activism was rooted in racism. But that didn’t stick, and Krauthammer said the argument’s failure contradicted O’Reilly’s point. Instead, he said, there was a degree of absurdity to the left’s entire effort. Krauthammer cited the reaction of one member of the House of Representatives.
“But as you just said, Bill — you just said earlier that if you repeat the lie often enough, it will work,” Krauthammer said. “You just said with racism it didn’t work. This is transparently silly. You had one congressman, I wrote it down — Mike Doyle in the meeting with the vice president yesterday actually said, ‘We have negotiated with terrorists. The small group of terrorists has made it impossible for us to spend any money.’ Well, that’s a hell of a definition of terrorism. Normally a terrorist says, ‘I want you to convert. I want your daughter, I want your money, I want your submission.’ This guy says a bunch of terrorists in Congress have stopped us from spending money we don’t have. You think that’s an argument that will carry with the American people? I think not.”
The Washington Post columnist chalked the debt deal up to representative democracy in action.
“[I]n the democracy folks speak,” Krauthammer said. “How do they speak on Election Day? What’s the result? They elect representatives who speak on their behalf and those representatives in the House, some of them a rather small minority, prevailed over a majority. Why? Because they have conviction and they have the argument and they have reality and truth on their side. This country is headed over a cliff economically. Everybody understands that, including the ratings agencies, which are rather neutral on this — objective observers and they say you don’t get your house in order we’re going to make you lose your AAA [credit rating]. Everybody understands that. But it was these people, expressed through their representatives, who made the case and won the day.”