Tax Cut Wars: Hostage Taking, Negotiating with GOP ‘Terrorists’
December 4, 2010
(ChattahBox Political News)—The heated battle on Capitol Hill between Democrats and Republicans over tax cuts—Republicans want them for the rich and the Democrats don’t, reached its natural rhetorical conclusion on Friday. After Senate Republicans led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY), held the government hostage until they got their way on tax cuts for the rich, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) suggested negotiating with the GOP hostage takers is almost like dealing with terrorists. Menendez’s remarks elicited predictable outrage from the Right, but the New Jersey Senator responded that he was taken “out of context,” while expressing disgust over the GOP’s “millionaires-first tax plan.”
ABC News writes:
“Asked if Democrats have a responsibility to move forward with a bill that can become law – in other words, a bill Republicans will support and not block– here’s what Menendez said:
“Do you allow yourself to be held hostage and get something done for the sake of getting something done, when in fact it might be perverse in its ultimate results? It’s almost like the question of do you negotiate with terrorists.”
Menendez was referencing a “hostage” letter circulated by McConnell, signed by the entire Republican Caucus, the day after a bipartisan meeting with President Obama. The letter threatened to block every legislative measure in the Senate, including the START treaty, and extension of unemployment benefits, until the wealthiest two-percent of Americans got to keep more of their money that would add $700 billion to the deficit.
Republicans called Menendez’s terrorist comment “astounding,” adding Democrats “just don’t get it.”
Menendez shot back:
“Not surprisingly, Republicans would take a comment out of context in order to change the subject from their millionaires-first tax plan,” Menendez spokesman Afshin Mohamadi told ABC News. “The critical point for middle class Americans remains that Republicans have chosen to jeopardize tax cuts for every middle class family in order to guarantee an average tax cut of $104,000 for each millionaire.”
Sure, Menendez went to the edge with his remarks, but what do you call a Party of obstinate vandals fighting for the interests of billionaires and millionaires, while millions of Americans suffer?