At what point did Democrats authorize their entire party leadership to unleash shark-jumpingly insane rhetoric upon the debt ceiling debate? Among the comments we've heard over the last 24 hours: An allegation that the GOP is trying to establish a "dictatorship" in America, a remark that Republicans want to shoot the president, an assurance that Democrats are trying to "save life on this planet" by stopping Boehner's plan, and now this:
The Obama White House is now casting House Speaker John Boehner's proposed debt ceiling plan as a Grinch that could steal Christmas. Spokesman Jay Carney and other aides said Boehner's short-term extension of the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling sets up a replay of the ongoing political fight in December, the middle of the holiday shopping season.
The Boehner plan would require "all of us to go through this again before the end of the year, in the most important economic season in the country," Carney said. "At a time when people don't want to worry about whether or not their interest rates are going to go up, their mortgage payments and their car payments and their student loan bills, and their credit card payments, especially as they're buying gifts for the holidays."
Sometimes you have to just step back and award beaucoup points for hyperbolic originality, if not accuracy, which is rarely a top concern for the Left anyway:
The White House time line is subject to dispute. The Boehner plans says its proposed debt limit extension of $900 billion -- the first of a two-part plan -- would extend cover U.S. obligations until at least the end of January, well past holiday season. Republicans who back the Boehner say Obama aides want a longer-term deal now because of worry about another seasonal event, the 2012 election.
Not to be outdone, Rep. James Clyburn -- House Democrats' third in command and a member of the Congressional Black Caucus -- called on President Obama to ignore Congress and hike the debt ceiling himself using a (highly dubious)14th Amendment justification, likening it to the Emancipation Proclamation and public school integration:
"I've said time and time again, if the President gets up to August 2nd, without a piece of legislation, he should not allow this country to go into default. He should sign an executive order invoking the 14th Amendment and send that to all the governmental agencies for us to continue to pay our bills. He could do that with a stroke of a pen. We've seen many big things done in history that way. I joked with my staff the other day, telling what was the bill number of the Emancipation Proclamation, it was an executive order. We integrated the armed services by executive order. We integrated public schools by executive order. Sometimes executives must order that things get done."
Good thing Clyburn was just "joking," right? Otherwise, it would seem like he was misappropriating history and playing the race card in a most unsavory way. These people are truly beyond parody. But remember, folks: It's the Republican Party that's full of cranks and crackpots. What would we do without the Democratic Party and its unfailingly measured rhetoric and unmatched maturity?