48
Interactions

Members of the Tea Party movement have been called a lot of nasty things before like: crazy, extremists, teabaggers, and racists, but in the final hours of the debt ceiling debate, just one month before the ten-year anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks, many Democrats, including Vice President Joe Biden, have been calling Tea Party members the nastiest name yet: terrorists.

Sources in the room told The Politico that in a closed-door meeting of House Democrats with Vice President Joe Biden, Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA) said:

“We have negotiated with terrorists. This small group of terrorists have made it impossible to spend any money… “the Tea Party acted like terrorists in threatening to blow up the economy.”

After the word was thrown around by angry House Democrats, sources told The Politico that Vice President Joe Biden agreed, saying: “They have acted like terrorists.” Biden’s office initially declined to remark on what he had said in the meeting, but after the comment was published, a Biden spokeswoman issued a denial, saying:

“The word was used by several members of Congress. The vice president does not believe it’s an appropriate term in political discourse.”

In an interview with CBS News, Biden also denied using “the terrorism word,” but told his interviewer that he said “if” Tea Party members were terrorists, the “nuclear weapon” has been taken out of their hands. But remember that despite Biden’s (rather weak) denial, The Politico‘s report cited multiple, Democratic sources in the room who confirmed that Biden had called Tea Party Republicans terrorists, casting an awful lot of suspicion on the vice president’s denial.

In addition to “several” House Democrats as confirmed by the office of the vice president, and likely the vice president himself, members of the media have also been using the word “terrorist” in recent days to describe the Tea Party. Three days before The Politico broke the Biden story, one of its opinion columnists wrote a piece entitled “The Tea Party’s Terrorist Tactics,” opining:

“It has become commonplace to call the tea party faction in the House ‘hostage takers.’ But they have now become full-blown terrorists,” adding that, “Terrorism is a tough term, but, unfortunately, it describes tea party tactics precisely.”

On the day the Biden story broke, a New York Times columnist published a piece entitled “The Tea Party’s War on America,” which begins:

“You know what they say: Never negotiate with terrorists. It only encourages them. These last few months, much of the country has watched in horror as the Tea Party Republicans have waged jihad on the American people… Their goal, they believed, was worth blowing up the country for, if that’s what it took.”

The next day at Salon, as if the word “terrorist” weren’t bad enough, a columnist argued that the Tea Party consists of radical, white, southern Neo-Confederates who would not hesitate to “destroy American democracy in order to get their way.” This is in addition to House Democrats who have also been using the word “Satan” in describing negotiations with House Republicans, with Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) calling the debt ceiling deal a “Satan sandwich” and House minority leader Nancy Pelosi adding “with a side of Satan fries.”

As the debt ceiling debate came to a final close, Tea Party members were also called “arsonists,” “saboteurs,” and “extortionists” by Democratic politicians and journalists. It’s sufficiently evident that the use of this new “terrorist” smear isn’t merely the angry ranting of a couple amateur bloggers, but a widespread phenomenon originating at some of the highest levels in electoral politics and news media. And it’s not the first time the Tea Party has been falsely and unfairly associated with acts of violence or terrorism.

This January, when a gunman in Arizona murdered six people and critically wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) in a tragic shooting massacre, Democrats in the media rushed to blame the Tea Party for inciting the violence with vitriolic rhetoric. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman led the charge, blaming Republicans for fomenting “a climate of hate.” Many bloggers directly accused Sarah Palin of inciting the murder attempt on Giffords with a map of targets on Democratic House districts vulnerable to Republican challenges in the 2010 midterm elections. DailyKos founder Markos Moulitsas tweeted “Mission accomplished, Sarah Palin.”

As it turned out, the rush to judgment was patently false. Despite the perverse hopes of the progressive blogosphere, the shooter wasn’t a Tea Party member, a Republican, a devotee of Glenn Beck, or even a self-described conservative. His writings indicated if anything, a sympathy for progressive politics, but most of all, simply the deranged mind of a clinically insane young man. After the rush to associate the Tea Party with this massacre, I wrote:

“Note the date and times of these wild accusations. As soon as the tragic news broke, and before any clear details or evidence of the gunman’s possible motivation had emerged, progressives swiftly and reflexively moved to hold Sarah Palin and the Tea Party responsible. Conspicuously absent, was the level-headed, fact-based, critical thinking, unmarred by prejudice, that so many progressives insist they exemplify.”

Immediately following this smear campaign were calls for more tempered rhetoric in politics, along with a strident insistence that “martial metaphors” were to blame for the shooting, and should be forever discarded from political discussions. Giving a speech to help the nation heal, President Obama called for “more civility in our public discourse.” Does it strike anyone as ironic that mere months later so many Democrats are calling Tea Party members “terrorists” over a budget disagreement? Or even more ironic that this rhetoric has been bandied about as Gabrielle Giffords, still in recovery from the shooting, took to the House floor for the first time since her attack to cast a vote on the debt ceiling bill?

The disappointing irony was not lost on the National Review‘s Jonah Goldberg, who wrote:

“I hate the ‘if this were Bush’ game so we’re in luck. Instead imagine if this was Dick Cheney calling the Progressive Caucus (or whatever they’re called) a ‘bunch of terrorists’ on the day Giffords returned to the Congress. Would the mainstream media notice or care? Would Meet the Press debate whether this raises ‘troubling questions’ about the White House’s sensitivity?”

It’s time for progressives to stand up and disavow this kind of rhetoric. By no possible stretch of the imagination is it fair or accurate to compare Tea Party members to terrorists for believing the federal government is borrowing too much money and that the national debt is hurting the economy. The Tea Party is committed to curtailing the size, role, and influence of the federal government, which it believes spends too much and too inefficiently. It is possible to disagree with their position without absurdly and insultingly comparing them to the kind of people who murdered thousands of Americans ten years ago on 9-11.

It’s time for progressives to listen to President Obama’s own words in 2009, when he said:

“We have to get to the point where we can have a conversation about big, important issues that matter to the American people without vitriol, without name-calling, without the assumption of the worst in other people’s motives.”

About the Author

W. E. Messamore
W. E. Messamore

An entrepreneurship major and graduate of Belmont University, Wes believes that small business, innovation, and creative thinking are required to solve problems and improve our world. One of America's growing number of Independents, Wes has never registered with any political party, but describes himself as a libertarian (note the lower-case "L") and holds individual liberty as a key ingredient of good public policy.

Join the discussion Please be relevant and respectful.

The Independent Voter Network is dedicated to providing political analysis, unfiltered news, and rational commentary in an effort to elevate the level of our public discourse.


Learn More About IVN

2 comments
mop squeezer
mop squeezer

The tea party has done more to destroy this country than any terrorist. They all should be tried for treason!!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Republicans enemies,  or terrorists,  or any Democrat in and  out of  Congress has called the  Tea Party terrorists  and  anarchists,  and conservatives  fanatics  and other  unpleasant appellations.   It […]

Leave a Comment
  1. zhuweiming1100 < coach outlet http://www.coachoutletstore.com.co swarovski uk http://www.swarovskioutlet.org.uk oakley sunglasses canada http://oakleysunglasses.globeasia.ca chanel handbags http://www.chanelhandbags.co supra shoes http://www.suprashoes.name cartier love bracelet http://cartierlovebracelet.bemercurial.com prada shoes http://www.pradashoes.us michael kors uk http://www.michaelkorsbags.uk true religion jeans http://www.truereligionjeansoutlet.net oakland raiders jerseys http://www.oaklandraidersjerseys.us cheap soccer jerseys http://www.cheapsoccerjersey.net tommy hilfiger outlet http://www.tommyhilfigers.net minnesota vikings jerseys http://www.minnesotavikingsjersey.us cheap nike shoes http://www.cheap-nikeshoes.cc coach outlet canada http://www.coachoutletcanada.com.co koby bryant shoes http://www.kobebryantshoes.in.net nike roshe http://www.nikerosherunshoes.co.uk juicy couture outlet http://www.juicycoutureoutlet.net nike trainers http://www.niketrainers.me.uk mizuno running http://www.mizunorunningshoes.us new york knicks jersey http://www.newyorkknicksjerseys.com bottega veneta outlet http://www.bottegaveneta-outlet.net kate spade outlet http://www.katespadeoutletonline.com dallas cowboys jersey http://www.dallascowboysjersey.us ralph lauren uk http://www.ralphlaurenoutletuk.org.uk stuart weitzman boots http://www.stuartweitzmanoutlet.us coach outlet http://www.coachoutletstores.com.co air jordan 13 http://www.airjordan13s.com chicago blackhawks jersey http://www.chicagoblackhawksjersey.us nike outlet store http://www.nikeoutletstore.us oakley sunglasses http://www.oakleysunglassesonline.us.com indianapolis colts jerseys http://www.indianapoliscoltsjersey.us san francisco 49ers jerseys http://www.sanfrancisco49ersjerseys.us mulberry outlet http://www.mulberryoutlet.com.co fivefingers shoes http://fivefingersshoes.saynotoarcticdrilling.org evening dresses http://www.eveningdressesoutlet.net cheap football shirts http://www.cheapfootballshirt.org.uk barcelona jersey http://www.barcelonajerseys.net nike huarache http://www.nikeairhuarache.org.uk beats headphones http://www.beats-headphones.in.net chicago bulls jersey http://www.chicagobullsjerseys.net philadelphia eagles jerseys http://www.philadelphiaeaglesjersey.us the north face outlet http://www.northface-outlet.cc lebron james shoes http://www.lebronjamesshoes.in.net nba jerseys http://www.nbajerseys.net michael kors uk http://www.michaelkorshandbag.co.uk real madrid jersey http://www.realmadridjerseystore.com canada goose outlet http://www.canadagoose.us.org dansko outlet http://www.dansko-shoes.us mbt shoes http://www.mbtshoesoutlet.us.com pittsburgh steelers jersey http://www.pittsburghsteelersjersey.com kansas city chiefs jerseys http://www.kansascitychiefs.us nhl jerseys http://www.nhljerseys.us.com new england patriots jerseys http://www.newenglandpatriotsjerseys.us chicago bears jerseys http://www.chicagobearsjerseys.us lebron james shoes http://www.lebronjames.us.com nike free uk http://www.nikefreerunning.org.uk washington redskins jerseys http://www.washingtonredskinsjersey.com the north face jackets http://www.thenorthfacejacket.us.com baltimore ravens jerseys http://www.baltimoreravensjerseys.us miami heat jersey http://www.miamiheatjerseys.net los angeles lakers jerseys http://www.lakersjerseys.us ysl outlet http://www.ysloutletonline.com michael kors outlet uk http://www.michaelkorsoutlet.org.uk boston celtics jersey http://www.celticsjersey.com seattle seahawks jerseys http://www.seattleseahawksjersey.us cheap wedding dresses http://www.cheap-weddingdresses.net the north face uk http://www.thenorthfaces.org.uk nike air max uk http://www.nikeairmaxshoes.org.uk san antonio spurs jerseys http://www.sanantoniospursjersey.com vans shoes http://www.vans-shoes.cc oklahoma city thunder jerseys http://www.thunderjerseystore.com atlanta falcons jersey http://www.atlantafalconsjersey.us gucci shoes http://www.guccishoes.cc new york jets jerseys http://www.newyorkjetsjersey.us chanel outlet http://www.chaneloutletstore.us.com hermes birkin http://www.hermesbirkin.org new york giants jerseys http://www.newyorkgiants.us arizona cardinals jerseys http://www.arizonacardinalsjersey.us north face outlet http://www.thenorthface.me los angeles clippers jerseys http://www.clippersjerseystore.com moncler coats http://www.moncler.us.com christian louboutin uk http://www.christianlouboutinoutlet.org.uk nike running shoes http://www.nikerunningshoes.cc the north face clearance http://www.thenorthfaceclearances.us.com tory burch outlet http://www.toryburch-outlet.us.com ray ban sunglasses http://www.raybansunglasses.co air jordan shoes http://www.airjordanshoes.us.org chelsea jersey http://www.chelseajerseystore.com custom mlb jerseys http://www.custommlbjerseys.us hermes outlet http://www.hermesoutlet.com.co air max 90 http://www.airmax90.us.com michael kors outlet http://www.michaelkorsfactoryoutlet.us.org mulberry uk http://www.mulberry-outletuk.uk nike free http://www.nikefreerunning.org north face jackets http://www.thenorthfaces.in.net golden state warriors jerseys http://www.warriorsjersey.com hermes belt http://www.hermesbelts.us air max 2015 http://www.airmax2015.com ugg boots http://uggboots.shoeshine.cc cleveland cavaliers jersey http://www.cavaliersjerseys.net denver broncos jerseys http://www.denverbroncos.org air max 2014 http://www.airmax2014.net futbol baratas http://www.futbol-baratas.com miami dolphins jerseys http://www.miamidolphinsjersey.com burberry outlet http://www.burberryoutletusa.com nike free 5.0 http://www.nikefree5.us tory burch outlet http://toryburch.outletstore.com.co manchester united jersey http://www.manchesterunitedonline.com the north face outlet store http://www.thenorthfaceoutletstores.org green bay packers jerseys http://www.greenbaypackersjersey.us soccer shoes http://www.nikemercurial.org new orleans saints jerseys http://www.neworleanssaintsjerseys.us ugg uk http://www.cheapuggboots.me.uk rolex watches uk http://www.rolexwatches-uk.co.uk zhuweiming0624
  2. IdeClair mop squeezer TOOL..
  3. mop squeezer The tea party has done more to destroy this country than any terrorist. They all should be tried for treason!!
  4. Why did… | Time for Thorns [...] Republicans enemies,  or terrorists,  or any Democrat in and  out of  Congress has called the  Tea Party terrorists  and  anarchists,  and conservatives  fanatics  and other  unpleasant appellations.   It [...]
  5. Part Four – Three Bizarre Events | Butterdezillion's Blog [...] http://ivn.us/2011/08/03/top-democrats-call-tea-party-members-terrorists/ [...]