White House: We Don’t Negotiate With (GOP) Terrorists
Religion & Liberty Online

White House: We Don’t Negotiate With (GOP) Terrorists

In what presumably was a misguided attempt to have Aaron Sorkin pen their newest round of armor-piercing media talking points, the White House sent adviser Dan Pfeiffer to the set of CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper armed to the teeth with explosive political metaphors meant to describe the GOP’s position on debt-ceiling negotiations.

TAPPER: You saw — and this is the final question. You saw today a new Bloomberg News poll indicating that the American people support by a 2-1 margin its right to require spending cuts when negotiating the debt ceiling.

I understand that Keystone and other provisions that the Republicans are talking about attaching to the debt ceiling are not related, but why not cut some spending?

PFEIFFER: The Republicans — we are for cutting spending. We’re for reforming our tax code. We’re for reforming our entitlements.

What we’re not for is negotiating with people with a bomb strapped to their chest. We’re not going to do that. So, if they want to have a discussion about how we reduce our deficits, how we help the middle class, how we give them a better bargain, lift the debt ceiling, take the full faith and credit of the United States off the table and let’s have a discussion.

I don’t think — that’s not a particularly complicated thing. What they’re doing is unprecedented. Imagine a scenario years from now, different Congress — we agree to their demands now. A year from now, maybe they want to privatize Medicare. Maybe four years from now, there’s a Democratic Congress and a Republican president, and the Democrats come forward and say, if you don’t raise taxes to levels that you don’t want, then we’re going to cause the economy to blow up.

We cannot live in a world where one-half of one branch of government can extract their demands that have been rejected by voters and can’t pass under normal circumstances or they are going to blow up the economy.

(You can watch the full exchange right here.)

Geez! I guess if they want to buy themselves some leverage and room to negotiate with this tough-nosed administration, perhaps Republicans ought to tell the White House that they’ve used lethal chemical weapons to eliminate the entire population of certain cities?

Follow the “logic” here:

The Left is demanding that the debt ceiling limit be removed. They’re vaguely promising spending-cut fidelity in return. The only reason the debt ceiling is even an issue is because the federal government continues to over-spend at unprecedented, unsustainable levels. The primary reason the Left wants the debt ceiling removed is so that more  spending can ensue (as has happened 100% of the time in the past).

And because not everyone believes in their pledge to cut – because some would like there to be guaranteed restraints applied to what Thomas Sowell would call the “unconstrained” vision of the Left – these doubters/haters are labeled fiscal terrorists and likened to soulless animals who use mentally handicapped children to blow up crowded Middle Eastern markets.

But I thought the Right was solely responsible for the coarsening of political discourse in the country? Isn’t that what the host of The Rachel Maddow Show each night on MSNBC incessantly claims?

Listen, we’re all big boys and girls here. What Pfeiffer said isn’t the crime of the century. Words don’t mean that much in politics anyway.

But actions do.

For a moment, forget who you voted for. Forget Right and Left. Forget my witty Aaron Sorkin jab that started off this post.

Instead, dwell on the undeniable fact that we are trillions of dollars in debt as a nation. Mull over the reality of a future America that, on its current trajectory, is fundamentally worse off than the one the Baby Boomers, Gen X-ers and we Millennials  inherited.  Think of the account we will have to give, who have been blessed by our Maker with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in the freest nation in history, as we stood idly by as Rome burned (and people we elected to represent us poured gasoline on the fire).

Our problem is not this-or-that political maneuver by either party. It’s ungratefulness and ingratitude in the face of unimaginable blessing. It’s the laziness that leads us to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to the reckless decisions being made by our proxies in Washington. It’s the systematic failure of stewardship at nearly every turn in our society.

This “bomb strapped” nonsense coming from the mouth of an empty political suit is merely emblematic of the utter lack of seriousness most Americans have about the trouble we are in. Millions have closed their eyes and hoped this would all go away with the casting of one ballot here, or the support of cutting programs that don’t personally impact them over there.

The worst part? I’m chief among them.


R.J. Moeller

R.J. Moeller is a writer and podcast host for the American Enterprise Institute's "Values & Capitalism" project. He's also a regular contributor at PJMedia.com and Acculturated.com. Originally from Chicago, he currently resides in Los Angeles, CA where he serves as a media consultant to nationally syndicated columnist and talk show host, Dennis Prager.