The timing was perfect. A policy specialist for Americans for Prosperity, the lobbying organization largely funded by the Koch brothers, chose shutdown week to argue for the reasonableness and moderation of the tea party movement (What the TEA Party is and isnt, Oct. 3 Point of View). He also challenged my claim that this philosophy has gained great influence in the Republican Party.
It has been widely and accurately reported that House Speaker John Boehner and the House Republican Conference have been strongly leveraged by members elected with tea party support and that they have rejected the notion that Congress has a basic constitutional responsibility to keep government open and to pay the countrys bills.
For months they have boycotted the normal budget process. They now insist on a political ransom for performing their basic duties and are doing the country great damage unless they get it.
A strange time indeed to argue for either the movements reasonableness or its respect for the Constitution!
U.S. Rep. David Price,
The writer, a Democrat, represents North Carolina District 4.