If you’ve seen headlines on newspapers recently or watched many media reports you’d think that the Tea Party won the debt ceiling deal. And with so many people in both parties expressing anger and dissatisfaction towards them, you’d think the media was right. John McCain referred to the Tea Party as “hobbits” and Joe Biden compared them to terrorists. Peter Beinart wrote an article for The Daily Beast entitled, “How the Tea Party Won the Deal,” in which he claims the Tea Party is running Washington.
Despite his incorrect assertion, he does provide a number of surprisingly accurate narratives of the Tea Party’s goals. Where he goes wrong is with his claim that “Given the era of fiscal scarcity we’re now entering, those neocon and progressive dreams are now likely dead for many years to come. Meanwhile, the Tea Party’s dream of a government reduced to its pre-welfare-state size becomes ever real.” Despite the Tea Party’s best effort, the welfare state is alive and well and we still have well over 750 military bases in 150 countries; and this debt deal does virtually nothing to correct those situations.
The Republican party went for the debt deal because it got some cuts and served as a way to put pressure on Obama, and because they were afraid they’d get blamed in the event of no compromise being reached. As frustrated as I get with their timidity, they are correct in their fear of getting blamed. A Pew Research Poll found that 42% would blame Republicans if no debt deal were reached; the irony is that the vast majority of the public agrees with their solution, a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. This shows the power of the liberal media bias.
The Democratic party supported the debt deal because the cuts involved in the deal are minuscule, they were losing on their opposition to a balanced budget amendment, and the deal opens the door for tax increases and military budget cuts.