Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island slammed House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, saying the California Congressman is the “only one” holding a “hand grenade” and threatening to blow up the American economy.
Any other explanation for the unnecessary U.S. flirtation with default is a disingenuous attempt at misdirection, Whitehouse asserts.
“Gaslighting this as ‘not his fault‘ is obviously false,” writes Whitehouse about McCarthy, sharing an article with the title: McCarthy Pretends His Own Debt Ceiling Crisis Isn’t His Fault.
It’s amazing how people miss the obvious: there is only one person responsible for the debt ceiling hand grenade being at issue.— Sheldon Whitehouse (@SenWhitehouse) May 25, 2023
Gaslighting this as “not his fault” is obviously false. He’s the guy with the hand grenade.https://t.co/YQahf4F9t6
[NOTE: Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic used by individuals to undermine another person’s perception of reality, leading them to doubt their own thoughts, feelings, and experiences. It involves the deliberate distortion or denial of information, events, or circumstances to make the victim question their sanity, memory, or judgment.}
Even McCarthy has displayed signs of regret about riding his intuition this far, saying yesterday after further frustrating negotiations: “It didn’t seem like it would be this hard.”
[NOTE: McCarthy also admitted that Democrats could have raised the debt limit “before I became Speaker” but chose not to, implying the Dems were foolish to think that McCarthy would do what all other Speakers in U.S. history have done — raise the debt limit, as has happened 78 times in the last 53 years, including 18 times under Ronald Reagan.]
If McCarthy is, as Whitehouse says, gaslighting Americans with his blame game, the strategy is working on some. The comment below shows how McCarthy has convinced some Americans that President Biden is responsible for the stalemate.
Yes, it's Biden.— Jaded (@Jaded4lifex) May 25, 2023
They passed a bill.
Biden said for months he wouldn't negotiate.
Now he's trying to tell people that he's been willing to compromise the whole time.
However successful his strategy is, McCarthy knows that even Donald Trump, while he was President (see below), said unequivocally that the debt limit should “never” be used as a “negotiating wedge.”
Using it that way is what McCarthy has done. Whether the Speaker has also gaslighted Americans is in the glassy eyes of the beholders.
President Trump on the debt ceiling: "I said, I remember, to Sen. Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, 'Would anyone ever use that to negotiate with?' They said 'absolutely not.' That's a sacred element of our country. They can't use the debt ceiling to negotiate." pic.twitter.com/WvI6j4nqMQ— The Hill (@thehill) July 19, 2019