Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tea Party Tipping Point

Take it from Eric Cantor, no less: It’s time for the Congressional wrecking crew that damaged the nation’s credit to cool it.

The House Majority Leader, who helped derail his Speaker’s Grand Bargain on the debt limit, is now urging Tea Party followers not to sabotage next year’s spending bill

“I have heard some assert that certain sectors would be better off under the sequester,” he writes to members about the use of a device to force automatic spending cuts. “I believe this is false and would unnecessarily induce more uncertainty and a worse policy outcome.”

Cantor’s conversion to traditional legislative procedures may have something to do with the rising public anger against his zealot freshman with recent polls showing the Tea Party ranking lower in public approval than Democrats, Republicans and even Muslims and atheists.

As 2012 draws closer, Democrats are organizing to use that discontent with protests against Tea Party excesses at the ballot box and to pressure Congress to create a “super-committee” on job creation to supplement the one now in place on debt reduction.

In his Weekly Address, the President tries to get a running start against GOP opposition to the jobs plan he will unveil after Labor Day:

“There are things we can do right now that will mean more customers for businesses and more jobs across the country. We can cut payroll taxes again, so families have an extra $1,000 to spend. We can pass a road construction bill so construction crews--now sitting idle--can head back to the worksite, rebuilding roads, bridges, and airports.

“We’ve got brave, skilled Americans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Let’s connect them with businesses that could use their skills. And let’s pass trade deals to level the playing field for our businesses. We have Americans driving Hyundais and Kias. Well, I want to see folks in Korea driving Fords, Chevys and Chryslers. I want more products sold around the globe stamped with three words: Made in America.”

If the White House wants to do all that, and more, to get the economy moving, it will have to recognize the public’s growing disaffection with Tea Party obstruction and find ways to start steamrolling ahead with or without them.

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