Friday, December 10, 2010

All He Wants for Christmas Is a Crisis

Since taking power, the Obama administration has operated under its former Chief of Staff's dictum to "never let a crisis go to waste". The wisdom of this approach, exploiting the nation's economic troubles for political gain, is dubious. If the most recent elections can be interpreted as a referendum on it, then the negative verdict is clear.

But no one ever accused the Congressional Democrats of being keen students of political history or current events. They are going one better than Obama. Why bother waiting for a crisis to exploit, when you can gin one up on your own?

From MPR, Rep. Keith Ellison on his preference to junk the Obama budget deal:

I think that we need to create a real crisis here so that the Republicans will have to answer for denying Americans unemployment benefits on the eve of the Christmas holiday.

The budget deal includes provisions to keep unemployment benefits at 99 weeks, as well as preventing tax increases that would cost the average American household an estimated $3,000 annually. But Keith Ellison would like to scrap all of that, and cause a crisis, because he doesn't want those making $250K+ to keep their current tax rates.

Intentionally causing hardship for unemployed and middle class Americans, explicitly for the purposes of political spectacle and perceived partisan advantage.

I understand this may just be rhetoric, a little bomb throwing to excite the Progressive base. But if, say, Michelle Bachmann had called for the creation of a national crisis to further her ideological goals, there would special sections of the Star Tribune being printed to handle the coverage. Lefty web sites would be melting down with calls for her impeachment and/or arrest. Grief counselors would be dispatched to local union offices and college campuses to help those pulling out their hair and gnashing their teeth.

A little double standard to keep in mind for the next time your favorite Republican (whoever that may be) is condemned as crazy, extremist, unfit for office, etc.