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

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 Slate political reporter. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

Yes, Black Families Tend to Spank More. That Doesn’t Mean It’s Good for Black Kids.

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

The Best Way to Organize Your Fridge

Politics

The GOP’s Focus on Fake Problems

Why candidates like Scott Walker are building campaigns on drug tests for the poor and voter ID laws.

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

Farewell! Emily Bazelon on What She Will Miss About Slate.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 16 2014 7:03 PM Kansas Secretary of State Loses Battle to Protect Senator From Tough Race
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 6:23 PM Bryan Cranston Reenacts Baseball’s Best Moments to Promote the Upcoming Postseason
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 6:40 PM This iPhone 6 Feature Will Change Weather Forecasting
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 16 2014 4:09 PM It’s All Connected What links creativity, conspiracy theories, and delusions? A phenomenon called apophenia.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.