Sunday, July 31, 2011

If the tea party are Hobbits, John McCain is Boromir

Nominations for Grima Wormtongue are open.

John McCain quoted the Wall Street Journal the other day to the effect that tea party aspirations for an end to fiscal insanity resemble a J. R. R. Tolkien fantasy.
...[T]he tea-party Hobbits could return to Middle Earth having defeated Mordor.
Yesterday, the Journal found it expedient to explain the obvious:
These columns drew much notice after John McCain quoted our July 27 “tea party hobbits” line on the Senate floor. Senator (sic) Sharron Angle responded that “it is the hobbits who are the heroes and save the land.” Well, okay, but our point was that there’s no such thing as a hobbit.
Serious debt reduction achieved in a bi-partisan kumbaya outbreak is a fantasy. It's right up there with belief in the Tooth Fairy and the Social Security 'Trust' fund. And it will forever be a fantasy, absent some major shake-up. The Journal's core assumption is that not raising the debt limit is the worst thing that could happen. Perhaps not.

As to fantasy, the same could reasonably have been said, and was, of the Declaration of Independence. The difference between the Revolution and the debt ceiling question is the immediacy and level of perceived risk.

If you do not think resolution of the Federal spending question involves an imminent, existential threat to the Republic, why would you think Hobbits are imaginary?

If you assume we will return to fiscal sanity at some later date - savings and investments intact, 'social compact' reformed - because the GOP will fix it all when they take the Senate and Presidency in the next election: You may be indulging in a fantasy. As Senator McCain has demonstrated, we wouldn't even be having the debate if we hadn't elected the Hobbits.

If you assume the Democrats will seriously address spending, or even co-operate in so doing, you are beyond fantasy.

The WSJ's analogy could be extended. The Hobbits didn't want to take on Sauron, they were forced to. They got little aid and no little betrayal from a corrupt establishment. They won, despite terrific odds which would only have become worse had they decided the problem could wait for an election in Mordor.

3 comments:

Roug said...

Hobbits were also less corruptible than were the race of men, a literary stipulation that was completely lost on this charter member of the Keating 5.

Hershblogger said...

As I recall, Hobbits were generally likely to say whatever came to their minds without fear of jail time or fines. I'm sure this First Amendment tendency garnered Senator McCain's disapproval.

When Megan read the WSJ Op-Ed to him, and explained what Hobbits are, the outburst was inevitable.

Anonymous said...

Can't say as I know anything about Hobbits. But ...

Lt. Commander John McCain was a great hero. Senator John McCain, either out of ignorance or otherwise, has serially betrayed his oath to defend the Constitution. He is an embarrassment to the Republican Party (one of many) and a enemy to the ideals of the founders.