On Oct. 12, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) took to the floor of the Senate to offer one of his typical, hyper-partisan harangues, blaming Republicans for the ill effects of the government shutdown (including the suspension of programs that the House funded but that Senate Democrats refused to fund in stand-alone votes). Among his many barbs was one that illustrated perfectly why Democrats are primarily responsible for the current impasse:
I’ll tell you in the past–let me just lay the cards on the table. I’ve been in the House and the Senate. Nobody wants to vote for this [debt ceiling increase]. Because most people don’t understand it. “Oh, so you want us to go further in debt, Senator! That’s why you voted for it.” That’s not the case. THe debt limit is paying off the bills we have already incurred. It’s like going to a fancy restaurant and ordering the best meal on the menu, eating the meal, and when they come to ask you to pay the check, saying, “No, you see I’m not paying the check, I’m a fiscal conservative. I just don’t believe in extravagant eating.” You just ate the meal! And now you’re not going to pay the check? That’s what this is all about.
What a delicious analogy to suit the elite liberal palate. The problem for Dick “Dinner” Durbin is that for the past several years, Republicans have been insisting–to continue his metaphor–that Americans enjoy a home-cooked meal rather than going out for an expensive dinner. And every single time Republicans have tried to cut spending, Democrats have refused and raised the specter of a government shutdown. For Durbin and his Democrats, it’s dinner by the top chef at a Michelin-starred restaurant, or nothing at all to eat for anyone.