Pro-con: Is tea party at fault if nation defaults?

If the nation defaults on its financial obligations, the blame belongs to the tea party Republicans. They had victory in their hands and couldn’t bring themselves to support House Speaker John Boehner’s debt-ceiling plan, which, if not perfect, was more than anyone could have imagined just a few months ago. The tea party got too full of itself with help from certain characters whose names you’ll want to remember when things go south. They include, among others, media personalities who need no further recognition; a handful of media-created “leaders,” including Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips and Tea Party Patriots co-founders Jenny Beth Martin and Mark Meckler; a handful of outside groups that love to hurl ad hominems such as “elite” and “inside the Beltway” when talking about people like Boehner when they are, in fact, the elite (FreedomWorks, Heritage Action, Club for Growth, National Taxpayers Union, Americans for Prosperity); and elected leaders such as Reps. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, head of the Republican Study Committee, and Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., who grandstand and make political assertions and promises that are sheer fantasy. Unfortunately for the country, which is poised to lose its place as the world’s most-trusted treasury and suffer economic repercussions we can ill afford, the stakes in this political game are too high to be in the hands of tea partiers who mistakenly think they have a mandate. Their sweep in the 2010 election was the exclusive result of anti-Obama sentiment and the sense that the president, in creating a health care plan instead of focusing on jobs, had overplayed his hand. Invariably, as political pendulums swing, the victors become the very thing they sought to defeat. — Kathleen Parker, Washington Post Writers Group

Why is the tea party intransigent on the debt ceiling? Why is the tea party pushing congressional Republicans so hard that we have a crisis? As the founder of Tea Party Nation, I feel confident in saying that the tea party understands what so many in Washington seem to have forgotten: We do not have a debt crisis. We have a spending crisis. There is only one way you get to a debt crisis — you spend too much money. Average Americans understand that the federal government is bloated. The government funds too many wasteful programs. There are too many programs and spending bills that exist only to help get senators or representatives re-elected. The tea party movement understands that if we allow Congress to borrow more money or raise taxes, all we are doing is funding the endless expansion of government. The left has accused the tea party of wanting America to default on its debt obligations. Nothing could be further from the truth. The tea party wants America to stop incurring debt obligations and to cut back on the wasteful spending already in place. — Judson Phillips, Tea Party Nation