MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on Tuesday was joined by former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson (of Simpson-Bowles fame) to discuss the impending “fiscal cliff,” a combination of tax increases and across-the-board spending cuts that will take effect next year unless congress can manage to come up with a budget deal.
Both more or less agree that many in Washington have been acting out of loyalty to party rather than country, and they are in absolute lockstep in their commonly shared disdain for anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist.
Norquist, as many Blaze reader know, has come under intense fire recently for his anti-tax pledge.
“My concern is the world,” Matthews began. “I’m sitting there — imagine you’re in England right now or you’re in Australia or you’re in Africa and you’re watching the news everyday and you know that in the United States, both political parties, you sort of know who they are. Both know there’s a problem, both know the number they need to reach, both know they have to reach an agreement, and they don’t do it.”
“What does that say about our country? We’re the great role model for democracy, for the Republican forms of government, and we can’t govern ourselves in the simplest damn thing of getting the numbers straight,” Matthews added.
“[Many politicians] love their party more than they love their country. How did we get to that point?” Sen. Simpson wondered.
Don’t ask me, but, you know, the whole business of reform and money in the campaign and beat up the guy … it’s not a case of who wins, it’s you want to be sure somebody loses.
And I say to people, whether it’s Grover Norquist or whatever, Lord sake, if you can’t step up to the plate, what can happen to you? They can’t murder you. They can’t burn your house.
The only thing they can do is defeat you for re-election by throwing some cuckoo from the left or some cuckoo from the right and if that means more than your country … you shouldn’t even be in the damn congress.
Matthews went on to reminisce about the good old days when — by golly — everyone in Washington worked together. Why can’t Washington do that anymore?
“[Speaker Boehner] he’s got — he lost 11 of the Tea Party guys, but he’s got then 70 guys who didn’t go to Congress to limit government, they came there to stop it,” said Sen. Simpson.
“So how do you deal with guys who came to stop government or Grover wandering the earth in his white robe saying you want to drown government in the bathtub? I hope he slips in there with it.”
“Well, I can’t — I’m with you on the full metaphor there. The full metaphor. Thank you, Senator Alan Simpson, co-chair of the Simpson-Bowles,” the MSNBC host concluded.
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(H/T: Washington Examiner). Front page photos courtesy Getty Images.