Robert Knight

Of all the bombs that liberal pundits toss at the Tea Party, none better illustrates why the GOP should actually pay attention than last Thursday’s article by E. J. Dionne Jr., the liberal Washington Post columnist.

Dionne, who looks at Obama’s feet and sees water wings, often tries to advise the Republican Party, out of the goodness of his heart. The July 21 version of his political Dear Abby series was, “Toss the Tea Party aside: To forge a debt deal, the GOP must reject fringe ideas.”

Whenever Dionne professes to worry about the Grand Old Party, it’s time to pivot 180 degrees and do the opposite. This means grabbing the Tea Party, holding on tight, and listening to what the heartland is saying above the Beltway noise.

It was largely due to Tea Party pressure that House leaders came up with “cut, cap and balance” and passed it by a vote of 234 to 190 on July 19, although the Senate tabled it on July 22. To Dionne, the idea of cutting federal spending, capping it gradually to less than 20 percent of Gross Domestic Product, and enacting a balanced budget amendment with supermajority requirements for tax increases is “fringe.”

Dionne is especially disappointed in Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who during bipartisan talks with Vice President Joe Biden “won praise for his focus even from liberal staffers who have no use for his politics.”

Cantor listened, then walked away from the table, fortified by support from what Dionne calls “right-wing rejectionists.” That’s a step up from Harry Reid’s calling the Tea Party “evil mongers.”

Like most in the media, Dionne misrepresents the Tea Party’s position concerning the possibility of default if the debt ceiling is not raised. He wants Cantor and House Speaker John Boehner to “tell the obstreperous right that it is flatly and dangerously wrong when it claims that default is of little consequence.”

The Tea Party position is that if the debt ceiling is not raised, the country does not have to go into default. With billions in current tax revenue, Obama can write checks for interest payments, Social Security, Medicare, veterans, and to pay our soldiers. After that, he can play the Washington Monument Game. That’s when liberals shut down popular government services instead of the massive bureaucratic leviathan that stretches for miles across Washington and the nation.

Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.