When Raul Labrador appeared on ABC’s This Week, he assumed a time-honored role played by Idaho politicians. In the political theater as portrayed by the national media, there needs to be the crazy extremist with a good one-liner. Idaho politicians, powerless because of their extreme positions yet eager for national attention, are usually willing to accept the role.
Even though it was obvious by Sunday that whatever happens by the first of the year the Tea Party unwillingness to compromise is a lost cause, the media needed someone to represent Tea Party intransigence. Labrador was trotted out to represent the losers as the game was being played out and he did it as scripted, blamed the Democrats for the split within the Republican party and compared them to bank robbers while saying their plan is to raise taxes on everybody.
Of course when host Jonathan Karl pointed out that the Republicans haven’t been willing to compromise on anything, Labrador disagreed and said he’d be perfectly willing to compromise… as long as it means the Tea Party extremists getting everything they want, tax cuts for the ultra wealthy and cuts in spending leading to the destruction of our social safety nets.
One thing is certain, Labrador will play no part in the current negotiations. He will be on the outside looking in. If the compromise currently being negotiated between Biden and McConnell passes the Senate, Labrador, and the other Tea Party obstructionists in the House, will have to decide what sort of loser to be. If the legislation passes without their votes, they will show that the Tea Party is, in the final analysis, powerless. If they go along and vote for it, they will be blamed by their supporters for not being true to their principles. If the legislation fails as a result of their failure to support it, they will be blamed by everyone for taking us over the fiscal cliff. They are at a sort of Morton’s Fork of their own making. All roads lead to unpleasant conclusions.