The Two Sweetest Words in the English Language: De-Fault!

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 8 2011 8:07 AM

The Two Sweetest Words in the English Language: De-Fault!

Andrew Kroll, on the ground covering Wisconsin's recall elections, grabs video of Tea Partiers cheering when Andrea Shea King tells them that S&P's perfidy has been dubbed the Tea Party downgrade.

Advertisement

Shea King obviously wants to inspire the opposite reaction in the crowd -- hey, you guys, should boo this! -- and maybe some of the applause is wry. But it wasn't all that long ago that the assembled at an Americans for Prosperity summit in Northern Virginia cheered the news that America had lost out on the 2016 Olympics after President Obama had campaigned for them.

The thing here is that both reactions completely make sense. In both cases, some damage has been done to America's reputation. In neither case is Barack Obama entirely responsible. In both cases, he's going to absorb the blame. And because these activists think defeating Barack Obama is necessary to save America, they cheer. The new reaction to the downgrade only differs for the role anti-spending, anti-tax activists had in making it happen. (No bias here. You want to quibble, take it up with S&P, who cited their worries that America would never be able to close the budget gap with new revenue.) But they're pretty confident that they're not going to be blamed for it, so they can cheer.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Culturebox

The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers

Education

Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.

Culturebox

The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Dear Prudence
Oct. 23 2014 6:00 AM Monster Kids from poorer neighborhoods keep coming to trick-or-treat in mine. Do I have to give them candy?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 8:51 AM The Male-Dominated Culture of Business in Tech Is Not Great for Women
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 23 2014 9:00 AM Exclusive Premiere: Key & Peele Imagines the Dark Side of the Make-A-Wish Program
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 23 2014 7:30 AM Our Solar System and Galaxy … Seen by an Astronaut
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.