Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid demonstrated his party’s intransigence in the war with Republicans over solutions to the partial government shutdown when he made it clear the Democrats would not lift a finger to help a child with cancer until the enemy camp got over its “obsession” with defunding or delaying Obamacare. Reid later tried to walk his comment back, claiming his words were taken out of context, but the video was and is still out there for anyone caring to review his exchange with CNN’s Dana Bash.
Today, Renee Ral catalogues the latest round of name calling by members of the party of civility and tolerance. The angry epithets range from “wolf in wolves’ clothing” (Nancy Pelosi’s attempt at “wolf in sheep’s clothing”) to “people with a bomb strapped to their chest” (White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer).
Other insults directed at the party that controls the House include hostage, anarchists, extortionists, and jihadis. The term hostage is getting a lot of play in particular, which is interesting in light of the president’s and Harry Reid’s actions, which — as the old saying goes — speak louder than words.
According to Business Insider, Obama, following up speculation (hope?) yesterday that the stock market would tank as a result of the shutdown, threatened the elderly and the disabled. During a speech at a construction company in Rockville, Md., he said:
In a government shutdown, Social Security checks still go out on time. In an economic shutdown — if we don’t raise the debt ceiling — they don’t go out on time. In a government shutdown, disability benefits still arrive on time. In an economic shutdown, they don’t.
Reid, the Washington Examiner notes, urged his Democratic colleagues in the Senate to block four resolutions to fund government programs, including paying the National Guard and withholding services for veterans.
It is fascinating to hear people like Reid and Obama assail the Republicans as hostage takers at the very same second that they hold the nation’s neediest at virtual gunpoint.
UPDATE: Apropos of the ongoing use of the term hostage, here is Democratic Party Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz being asked by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer about her party’s untenable position with respect to the NIH bill that the Senate refuses to consider. Schultz, herself a cancer survivor, gives lip service to the same partisan silliness about how Republicans are the ones holding the economy hostage even though the House has already passed the NIH bill.: