Yesterday during a roundtable discussion on Meet the Press, former Senate Republican Chuck Hagel premised his understanding of the debt-ceiling standoff in Washington as merely a representation of the divided political views of the country at large. In his words:
Well, I think where you start is with this fact, at least I believe this, politics just reflects society. And what we are seeing today, I believe, is a new emerging governing coalition being built in this country, a new political center of gravity… So, obviously, what’s happening in Washington is going to reflect what’s happening across this country and the world.
Funny, but recent polls suggest that an increasing large chunk of Republican and Democrat voters agree on the need to raise the debt-ceiling. Politicians usually attempt to pin legislative failure on “Washington” and those in the insulation of the Beltway — and in fact, Hagel did go on to blame “Washington.” But in this case, Hagel is brazenly arguing that the failure of the two parties to negotiate a compromise and raise the debt-ceiling goes back to the uncompromising and stubborn characteristics of the American people — not those of congress.
Forgive me if I’m taking his words too literally, but I thought that politicians are only supposed play the “my actions represent the will of my constituents” card when they are doing things right, or at least things they perceive as right. With this flipped logic, I think that ideologically-driven Tea Party congress-members are going to have to vote for new constituents in 2012.