Thanks to intemperate remarks by pundits such as Tom Friedman and Joe Nocera, and to an anonymously sourced item in Politico about Vice President Joe Biden, liberals have been on the defensive about civility following the debt-ceiling debate. It seems that folks like Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby think it’s wrong to call Tea Partiers and right-wing Republicans “terrorists.”
If you want to be offended, be my guest. I agree that it’s uncivil, and frankly I’d much rather call Tea Partiers economic illiterates, which is more descriptive and more accurate. Economists explain.
But now comes Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who, according to the Washington Post, wants us to know that it’s perfectly all right if we want to refer to Republicans as hostage-takers and to crack wise about them shooting their victims. After all, he does. This is amazing:
“I think some of our members may have thought the default issue was a hostage you might take a chance at shooting,” he said. “Most of us didn’t think that. What we did learn is this — it’s a hostage that’s worth ransoming. And it focuses the Congress on something that must be done.”
Ah, yes. You see, McConnell is a moderate Republican, which in 2011 means you hold the hostage for ransom, like civilized folks do. Although he concedes that those who wanted to shoot the hostage have a point, too. After all, he has to keep the caucus together.
You. Can’t. Make. This. Up.