All parents know what the "terrible twos" look like. What's happening now on Capitol Hill is unmistakable: the Tea Party is throwing a tantrum.
When they first arrived in Washington, the Tea Party freshman class was fawned over and adored. They were given seats on powerful committees. They took special classes about the Constitution and spent a lot of time talking about what they thought was in it. They held votes to stick it to their least favorite things -- women's health care, environmental protection, and public radio.
But then something happened. The Tea Party discovered it couldn't get everything it wanted.Anyone with a child or who has been around children know exactly what happens next - bedlam.
Toddlers don't recognize that the world does not begin and end with their demands. They do not realize that the matches they're playing with could hurt someone.
Tell that to the Tea Party. As Keegan noted:
A government shutdown -- which is what the Tea Party wants if Democrats and moderate Republicans won't give in to their every demand -- is a destructive thing. The last one, which lasted for three weeks, cost taxpayers $1.25 billion . If the government shuts down tomorrow morning, 800,000 government workers will go on leave without pay. Small businesses that rely on the government for business will stop bringing in income. U.S. troops fighting abroad would have their pay delayed . The U.S. would stop issuing passports. The D.C. city government would all but grind to a halt.
But the collateral cost of their tantrum doesn't seem to bother the Tea Party. They're too busy crying and screaming to realize that they're hurting people, and might eventually hurt themselves.
Good parents don't try to reason with a toddler holding a box of matches -- they take the matches away. House Speaker John Boehner has so far been overly indulgent of his young caucus. Now is the time for him to teach them what it takes to be grown-ups in government.So next time you watch one of these tea party activists/pundits speak, ask yourself - "don't they seem like spolied brats?"
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