If the next step in the Republican rebellion against the Constitution is going to be an attempt to blackmail President Obama on the debt ceiling, then the MSM must have a stockpile of austerity-bombing excuses at the ready. In the NYTimes, James Stewart tries to present a batch of Steve King’s Iowa voters as almost as stupid and just as mean as the man himself:
… I spent much of the week on the phone with voters and business people in Iowa’s Fourth Congressional District, a sprawling, mostly agricultural region that runs from Sioux City, on the Nebraska border, to Mason City, close to Minnesota in the northwest quadrant of the state. I picked the district because its representative in Congress, the Republican Steve King, has been one of the most outspoken advocates for blocking Obamacare, even if that means shutting down the government or defaulting on the national debt.
In this bedrock conservative district, I found that people were fed up with the gridlock in Washington. But while they are beginning to question Mr. King’s tactics, they continue to support his core commitment to cutting the size of government…
Voters in his district told me in telephone interviews that they didn’t take all he says that seriously. “He’s kind of radical in the way he talks about things,” said Stan Feekes, assistant general manager of the Farmer’s Coop Society in Sioux Center. “We wish he’d be a little more gentle. People don’t agree with him on everything, but by and large I’d say he’s been in step with people here.” (Representative King carried Sioux County with 83 percent of the vote.)…
When I reached Brent Geels, co-owner of Geels Glass Inc. in Sioux Center, he’d just finished sending an e-mail to Representative King urging him to, as Mr. Geels put it, “stand firm and not back down.” Like many people there I spoke to, Mr. Geels says he thinks the economic harm attributed to a government shutdown, and even that associated with a federal debt default, is overblown by the media, a tactic to get Republicans to cave in. “Look at the sequester,” he said, referring to the automatic spending cuts that took effect in March. “That was a lot of hype. They went into effect and two months later everyone forgot about them.” Moreover, he feels (as did several other people I interviewed) that there may be a silver lining to the shutdown. “If we can get along without all these nonessential services, then maybe we don’t need them,” he said. So far, he said, the shutdown has had no impact on his glass business, which he started in May.
I was surprised to hear in nearly all my conversations that the issue for people in this part of Iowa is less Obamacare than it is government spending in general. “We have to sacrifice now so our children will not be drowning in our debt,” Mr. Geels said. “Balancing the budget should be a top priority. But Congress can’t even pass a budget. The reason we have these stopgap funding measures is that they’re not planning ahead. No business could run that way.” …
Kathie Obradovich, political columnist for The Des Moines Register, whose brother lives in Sioux Center, said that Iowans had been told by Washington that “the sky is falling, but they don’t see it.” She added: “Until they see the reality that there are consequences, they’re not likely to put much pressure on their representatives in Congress.” But she, too, said she’d been hearing from many voters that “Congress isn’t doing its job. A basic requirement is to pass a budget and keep the government going.” ….
The Washington Post, where its local readers are already feeling the effects of the current shutdown, keeps the spotlight on the responsible party — in this case, Florida’s Rep. Ted Yoho and ‘the tremor before the tsunami’:
… “This one is from a 72-year-old lady: ‘Way to go, tiger,’ ” said Yoho (R-Fla.), a freshman congressman. In the middle of the government shutdown that he had helped bring on, Yoho is reading texts off his personal cellphone.
Here’s another. “It just says, ‘Shutdown,’ ” Yoho said. “With a smiley face.”
A year ago, Yoho was a large-animal veterinarian in north Florida who had never held elected office. Today, he is part of one of the most influential voting blocs in the House of Representatives, the hard-line conservatives who pushed their own leadership into a risky showdown over President Obama’s health-care law.
Right now — with national parks closed and workers furloughed and cancer studies shut down — Yoho is supposed to be learning a hard lesson, about being careful what you wish for.
He is not.
Instead, Yoho has felt little pressure to change his mind, either from inside the Capitol or outside it. His leaders are still weak and uneasy. His constituents — or at least the small slice that bothers to write or call him — are mostly supportive. And his defiance has made him far more powerful than a freshman congressman has any right to expect.
So he’s already planning for a bigger act of defiance.
“You’re seeing the tremor before the tsunami here,” Yoho said. “I’m not going to raise the debt ceiling.”…