Well, colour me confused. This is from the Wall Street Journal's latest editorial on the debt ceiling debate. The paper takes the extremist wing of the Republican Party to task for its dumb politics:
The idea seems to be that if the House GOP refuses to raise the debt ceiling, a default crisis or gradual government shutdown will ensue, and the public will turn en masse against . . . Barack Obama. The Republican House that failed to raise the debt ceiling would somehow escape all blame. Then Democrats would have no choice but to pass a balanced-budget amendment and reform entitlements, and the tea-party Hobbits could return to Middle Earth having defeated Mordor.
This is the kind of crack political thinking that turned Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell into GOP Senate nominees.
Now, here's the New York Times reporting on John McCain's speech from the Senate floor this morning:
Mr. McCain mocked Tea Party-allied Republicans in the House for believing — wrongly, he said — that President Obama and Democrats will get the blame for a default if Republicans refuse to increase the nation’s debt ceiling.
By that flawed logic, he said, “Democrats would have no choice but to pass a balanced budget amendment and reform entitlements and the Tea Party Hobbits could return to Middle Earth.”
“This is the kind of crack political thinking that turned Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell into G.O.P. nominees,” he jeered, referring to two losing Tea Party candidates for the Senate in 2010.
Either John McCain has got very lazy or there's something missing from the reporting of this story.
UPDATE: the article has now been updated to reflect the fact that McCain was quoting from the WSJ, at least for the hobbit bit. But it still reads as if the sentence about "crack political thinking" was McCain's own. Odd.