Throughout this whole government shutdown debacle, the Obama administration and its Democratic allies on Capitol Hill have really ramped up the rhetoric. The GOP is "holding Americans hostage," negotiating "with a gun" to President Obama's head and making "ransom" demands. Today, press secretary Jay Carney referred to the (non-existant) threat of default with a crude line about "matches and gasoline" and the GOP keeping a "nuclear weapon" of undermining the economy in their "back pocket."
Fortunately for all of us, the White House Press Corps has heard enough.
The Washington Post reports:
...[I]t was "ransom" — a word Obama has used repeatedly to describe Republican negotiating tactics — that struck the last press corps nerve. The usual briefing room decorum, such as it is, broke down entirely when Carney said finally that Obama would sign a debt-ceiling extension but not if it meant "paying a ransom" to Republicans.
"The president will not pay ransom for ... " Carney began.
"You see it as a ransom, but it's a metaphor that doesn't serve our purposes ... " NPR correspondent Ari Shapiro shouted back with broad support from other confused reporters.
"You guys are just too literal then, right? Carney said.
"We just want to accurately report," Shapiro began before Carney interjected. "We're trying to be accurate in our description of what's going on."