Democrats Throw Temper Tantrum for More Spending

February 24, 2011

House Democrats’ Ugly Rhetoric on Wisconsin Protests Reveals Their Strategy for a Federal Government Shutdown


House Democrats resorted to appeals to violence and name-calling Wednesday as they goaded Wisconsin government employee protestors, backtracking on earlier calls for civility in political discourse:


REP. MICHAEL CAPUANO (D-MA): “‘I’m proud to be here with people who understand that it’s more than just sending an email to get you going,’ Capuano said, according to the Statehouse News‘Every once and awhile you need to get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessary.’” (Michael O’Brien, “Democrat Urges Unions To ‘Get a Little Bloody When Necessary’,” The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room, 2/23/2011)


REP. KEITH ELLISON (D-MN): “[Wisconsin Gov. Scott] Walker is ‘basically taking on the position of a dictator,’ he told reporters. ‘Because he says he won’t negotiate. That is something that is not in the spirit of a public servant, who just won’t even talk. He is putting himself in a position of being extreme, radical and reckless. And he’s going to fail.’”(Simmi Aulja, “Progressive Caucus co-chair calls Walker a ‘dictator’,” Politico, 2/23/2011)


This heated language suggesting a refusal to negotiate is especially ironic given that top Democrats want to maintain record levels of big government spending while they root for an eventual government shutdown:


“Times have changed. President Barack Obama is no Bill Clinton, Speaker John Boehner is no Newt Gingrich. The new guys ran on slashing spending and they’re showing they meant it. Meanwhile, Washington Democrats wouldn’t cut a penny in their spending proposal, even though austerity is the buzzword in state capitals and county seats around the country.” …


“Meanwhile, in the face of painful budget-cutting at state and local levels,Democratic leaders say the government should keep on keeping on at the same rate while the two sides work out their longer-term differences.” (Jonathan Allen and John Bresnahan, “Shutdown: Does GOP Have Edge?,” Politico, 2/23/2011)


SEN. MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID (D-NV): “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) said he would bring legislation to the Senate floor next week to keep federal government funding at current levels for a month while lawmakers work out a longer-term deal on this year’s federal budget.” (Corey Boles, “Reid Plans Stop-Gap Spending Proposal,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/23/2011)


REID: “‘Of course it’s a possibility,’ Reid said Tuesday of a possible shutdown.”(Chris Moody, “Reid Says a Shutdown Is “A Possibility” After Blasting a Republican For Saying The Same Thing Last Week,” The Daily Caller, 2/15/2011)


PRESIDENT OBAMA: “President Obama warned of stopped Social Security checks and issued a formal veto threat Tuesday to the Republican spending plan currently being debated in the House, setting the stage for a potential government shutdown next month.” (Chris Stirewalt, “Obama Issues Government Shutdown Threat,” Fox News, 2/16/2011)


HIGH-RANKING NANCY PELOSI AIDE: “Democrats in Congress are preparing for a government shutdown, a congressional aide told RealClearPolitics Friday morning.


An aide to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told a meeting of Democratic chiefs of staff in the House that there is a 90 percent chance the government will shut down, and they need to plan accordingly.” (Erin McPike, “Dems Preparing for Government Shutdown,” Real Clear Politics, 2/18/2011)


This doubletalk by national Democrats—publicly condemning a federal government shutdown while simultaneously hoping to use one to antagonize Republicans—led observers to denounce Obama’s “status quo presidency” and the cynical political posturing behind Democrats’ budget arguments:


“For all the effort Democrats have put into portraying Republicans to be hot on the idea of a shutdown, it’s really Democrats who are talking much more about it — almost incessantly.


“By talking about a shutdown — and saying it’s Republicans who want one — Democratic leaders are making sure to position themselves for the blame game that would surely ensue.” (Jonathan Allen and Carrie Budoff Brown, “How a Government Shutdown Could Happen,” Politico, 2/22/2011)


President Obama has chosen to play the political equivalent of the prevent defense as his reelection campaign approaches by deferring tough decisions on entitlements.


“His budget made no attempt to change the Medicare and Social Security programs, and barely made a dent in spending cuts.” …


“Obama said in his State of the Union address that he wants to ‘win the future,’ buthis policies remain stuck in a 20th-

century mindset defending a strained government entitlement system and public-sector unions.” (Josh Kraushaar, “The Status Quo Presidency,” National Journal, 2/22/2011)


How can Democrats honestly claim they are worried about a federal government shutdown when they have used such colorful language to encourage state employees striking in Wisconsin?:


“The obvious point here is that if it’s so ‘reckless’ to shutdown the government, why have Wisconsin legislators, the President and the DNC all supported the government shutdown in Wisconsin? Not only that, they have shutdown the government by fleeing the state and breaking the law, not to mention the illegal union strikes shutting down schools and national Democrats helping to organize the angry mob descending on Madison…


[I]t will be very hard for Democrats to make the case against it with any moral authority and stir up voter sympathy.” (Mark Hemingway, “After Wisconsin, How Do Democrats Argue Against a GOP Government Shutdown?”,  The Weekly Standard, 2/20/2011)