Dean: What's the Tea Party Smoking?

GOP blames Obama, Dems blame Tea Party for S&P downgrade
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2011 11:42 AM CDT
Dean: What's the Tea Party Smoking?
Former DNC Chairman Howard Dean speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2008.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

If nothing else, the S&P downgrade made for a lively August Sunday on the talk show circuit, with anyone who is anyone booking an appearance to sling some blame for the US' brand new AA+ rating. The Democrats pointed directly at the Tea Party and its refusal to raise revenues, with Howard Dean sounding a typical note: "They are totally unreasonable and doctrinaire and not founded in reality," he complained on Face the Nation. "I think they've been smoking some of that tea, not just drinking it." The downgrade is a wakeup call that the US simply has to have more revenue to pull itself out of the ditch, he said. Elsewhere on your Sunday dial, as per Politico:

  • Lindsey Graham blasts President Obama: He's had a "lousy presidency that is only getting worse. He is failing and it's not the Tea Party's fault. What was hope and change is despair and confusion."
  • Austan Goolsbee on the S&P: “They made a $2 trillion math error and they didn’t check their work."
  • Alan Greenspan on the downgrade: It "shot the self-esteem of the United States," but "This is not an issue of credit ratings. The US can pay any debt because we can always print money to do that. So there is zero probability of default.”
  • John McCain defends the S&P downgrade: “Don’t shoot the messenger. Is there anyone who believes S&P is wrong?"
  • David Axelrod blames the Tea Party: "The Tea Party brought us to the brink of default. This is essentially a Tea Party downgrade,"
  • Graham loves the Tea Party: "If we had listened to the Tea Party, we would have $4 trillion in reduction in debt over time and not been downgraded. Thank God they're here."
  • John Kerry blames the Tea Party: “A minority of people in the House of Representative countered even the will of many Republicans in the United States Senate, who were prepared to do a bigger deal."
  • Paul Ryan blames everybody: "Both parties got us to where we are. I'm not very surprised at this downgrade. We more or less saw this coming."
(More Sunday morning talk shows stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.