Thursday, 18 August 2011

Putting Words in Rick Perry's Mouth, Ct'd

The Wall Street Journal has come to Rick Perry's defense regarding his statements on Ben Bernanke (statements that some, including Andrew Sullivan, have interpreted as threats). From the Journal:

Let's stipulate that Mr. Perry, in his first week on the Presidential stump, was wrong to use the words "almost treacherous, treasonous" in referring to Mr. Bernanke. Both of those words ought to be reserved for specific acts of betrayal against America, and the Fed chief is certainly a patriot. In particular, "treason" is the only crime specifically defined in the Constitution, which is something a tea party politician ought to learn.

On the other hand, everybody knows Mr. Perry meant no literal harm and was indulging the irrational exuberance that is one of his trademarks. The faux-outrage from liberals who routinely refer to the tea party as "terrorists" shouldn't be taken seriously.


The WSJ can get bent for referring to "liberals who refer to the Tea Party as terrorists," but the gist of the article is basically accurate. Andrew Sullivan responds:

There is nothing faux about the outrage here. And the bargaining position of the GOP over the debt ceiling was classic economic terrorism - using a collapse of the entire global economy as leverage for their anti-tax fanaticism. The threat of personal thuggery is not "irrational exuberance." It is rational intimidation.


Despite his silly statement about "personal thuggery," Sullivan also has a point here. While referring to Perry and the Tea Party as terrorists is irresponsible and hyperbolic, Perry and his TP cohorts are playing a dangerous, dangerous game by attempting to drag their crackpot economic theories into the real world. In this respect, the debt ceiling debate and bombastic statements about Bernanke et. al. are only the beginning.

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