Everyone’s used to political mudslinging — but how often does the mud come from Middle-Earth?
Senator McCain criticized some colleagues’ approach to the debt-ceiling issue on July 27, quoting extensively from a Wall Street Journal op-ed that compared tea partiers to “hobbits”.
The idea seems to be that if the House GOP refuses to raise the debt ceiling, a default crisis or gradual government shutdown will ensue, and the public will turn en masse against . . . Barack Obama. The Republican House that failed to raise the debt ceiling would somehow escape all blame. Then Democrats would have no choice but to pass a balanced-budget amendment and reform entitlements, and the tea-party Hobbits could return to Middle Earth having defeated Mordor.
Chris Cillizza in the Washington Post reports that “Tea Party members responded in kind” –
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) deadpanned that ‘he would rather be a hobbit than a troll,’ while 2010 Senate candidate Sharron Angle of Nevada said that ‘it is the hobbits who are the heroes and save the land.’
True – up to the point when Frodo put on the ring for the last time, had delusions about ruling the world, and was only spared an evil fate because Gollum bit the ring off his hand and accidentally fell into Mount Doom. I couldn’t tell you where to look for checks and balances like that in our democratic system.
[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster for the story.]