To the Readers' Forum:
The PJ's columnist Froma Harrop finds that referring to tea party folks as "terrorists" is just fine. Because they stuck to their principal of no raise in the debt limit without equivalent cuts in spending, she finds they were jeopardizing the nation. They would "blow up the American economy," in her terms.
I do not believe it is a good idea to label those who oppose you across the bargaining table "terrorists" because they are trying to act in keeping with their interpretation of the seriousness of the economic situation. President Obama, after all, refused to accept any solution that involved another debate about the debt limit before the 2012 election. In Ms. Harrop's analysis then, the president was risking the future of the country so that he would not have to draw attention to the fact that we borrow 43 cents for every dollar spent, thereby damaging his reelection prospects. Using her definition, this sounds like "terrorism" to me, but it also sounds like what is known as "politics".
The negotiations were as successful as we could hope for at this juncture: the debt limit was raised, the Republicans got some spending cuts (due to Tea Party influence, although much was effective in the future, when serious cuts often become scratches) and President Obama got the next debt limit debate forestalled until after the 2012 election. (He still will have difficulty explaining why adding four trillion in debt while making most of us poorer and increasing unemployment was such a good plan.)
These modest steps are interpreted by those on the left as "terrorism." I believe the tea party folks understand that a great nation cannot continue to be great as a debtor nation Most of us agree that we cannot keep spending more than we are making, and I suggest the tea party use of the term "patriot" is accurate.