Praise first for U.S. Rep. Steve Womack and Sen. John Boozman. Alone among the Arkansas Republican delegation they reject taking government hostage — whether through refusal to approve a budget or refusal to raise the government borrowing limit — to overturn the law of the land, the Affordable Care Act. Not that they like it.
The rest of Arkansas congressional Republicans — Tim Griffin, Tom Cotton, Rick Crawford — are engaging in nothing less than economic terrorism. It is true that they are currently using wiggle words that stop short of ultimatums. But their threats are clear enough. Their sympathy with the terrorists has been expressed in black and white.
The New York Times calls it a “march to anarchy.”
Mr. Boehner is playing the dangerous game of trying to placate the extremists for a few days. But, in the end, the burden will be squarely on his shoulders. If he allows the entire House, including Democrats, to vote on straightforward measures to pay for the government and raise the debt limit, the double crisis will instantly end. If he does not, he will give free rein to his party’s worst impulses.
Worst impulses? If they didn’t have bad impulses, they’d have none at all.
UPDATE: Tom Cotton apparently went on KARK last night and lied, saying neither he nor any Republican had said they supported a government shutdown. Said Cotton:
“Well, I’ve never said that I supported government shutdown, and I don’t want to shutdown the government nor does any Republican.”
The Mark Pryor campaign helpfully reminded and provided audio tape of the following:
In January, radio host Andrea Tantaros ask Cotton directly whether he was prepared to shut down the federal government if congressional Republicans and the president find themselves at an impasse during upcoming debates over federal spending priorities.
“I think we have to be,” Cotton replied. “We have to be willing to draw the line.”
Cotton also apparently forgot when Rick Crawford and Tim Griffin signed a letter along with dozens of other House Republicans that urged a shutdown rather than funding the Affordable Care Act.