Extortion Politics: Koch Brothers Operative Confirms That Tea Party in Congress Is Not There to Negotiate

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Like you, I’m sick to death of the debt ceiling crisis, but before we move on, there was one moment in the debate in the media that requires attention. On MSNBC’s “Hardball” Monday, Matt Kibbe, a longtime Republican Party operative who is the president of Freedomworks, the Koch brothers-funded tea party astroturf group, confirmed to Chris Matthews that members of the tea party in Congress are not there to negotiate — in other words, to govern. They are not there, he says, “to cut deals,” which means, by default, they are there to use the politics of extortion to impose their will on the American people. Where is that in the Constitution?

Transcript, starting around minute 5:00:

MATTHEWS: This is the problem with your argument. You have an ideology behind you which makes sense. But the trouble with it, when it comes down to running the United States government, you guys don’t accept the fiduciary responsibility to be part of the United States government, do you? Your base is still carrying placards, and you’re still standing outside the Capitol yelling. But you’re not willing to come inside the building and help run the government, which means paying the bills, because you don’t accept that responsibility, do you? To pay the bills.

KIBBE: It’s not the job of the Tea Party to cut a…

MATTHEWS: Right. Thank you.

KIBBE: It’s not our job to cut a deal.

MATTHEWS: THANK YOU. You’ve admitted it.

KIBBE: It’s our job to force politicians to accept their responsibilities.

MATTHEWS: Thank you. The trouble is the Tea Party has found its way in to the government. And there are guys on the Hill, and women, who are getting paychecks from the United States government, who won’t pay the bills of the United States government.