It looks like the Republican Party is turning into its own worst enemy.
As the August 2nd doomsday for US credit default approaches, the Obama Administration seems to be keeping its cool—yesterday it Rickrolled its Twitter followers in a savvy prank that offered some much appreciated levity.
Meanwhile Republicans, whom the entire world from the Wall Street Journal to IMF chief Christine Lagarde seem to agree are being completely unreasonable in holding up a debt solution, are starting to turn on each other like a scene from “Lord of the Flies.”
Yesterday John Boehner issued a blunt order to House Republicans to “get your ass in line.” Meanwhile John McCain dusted off his Maverick suit and lashed out at the whole lot of Republicans, especially Tea Party adherents to the “cut, cap and balance” approach the deficit.
Criticizing the conservative attempt to use the debt limit as leverage to force the Obama Administration into making steep cuts on Medicare and Social Security, McCain somewhat inexplicably compared Tea Partiers to Hobbits.
McCain derided the Tea Party‘s delusion about entitlement cuts suggesting that “the Tea-Party Hobbits could [then] return to Middle-earth having defeated Mordor.” What’s more, McCain exhumed some of the party’s most divisive figures from last fall’s midterm election. “This is the kind of crack political thinking that turned Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell into GOP Senate nominees,” offending the vast swaths of Tea Party conservatives who still love Angle and O’Donnell.
Predictably McCain’s comments set off a firestorm in the far-right, and now as John Boehner’s camp struggles to get Republicans’ asses in line behind him, the ghosts of Tea Party Past are coming out of the woodwork to attack McCain.
Christine O’Donnell spoke up last night, aggrandizing the influence of Tea Party thinkers within the GOP: “It doesn’t help him to attack those conservatives and Tea Partiers who graciously gave him another chance to keep his job.” And Sharron Angle of “man up” fame issued a statement saying “It is regrettable that a man seeking dialogue, action and cooperation for votes on the floor of the United States Senate has only one strategy to achieve that effort: name-calling.”
As if dealing with an intransigent party line in the debt talks weren’t trying enough, Democrats will now have to watch Republicans turn on each other like rabid sharks.
John McCain’s ‘Straight Talk Express’ may have taken a wrong turn in the 2008 presidential campaign, but you have to give the guy credit for speaking his mind now. McCain’s self-styled “maverick” reputation has oft been the pride of the Republican party, but as the party spirals into chaos over a debt position it will likely make him persona non grata in the GOP.