Calm Morning Joe? Newsweek Boss Tina Brown Says GOP Are 'Suicide Bombers'

Newsweek's Tina Brown compared congressional Republicans to suicide bombers on Wednesday's Morning Joe after lamenting their refusal to agree to the tax hikes demanded by Democrats. "I think they’re the suicide bombers in all of this," said Brown. Will Tina Brown be banned indefinitely from Morning Joe? Sounds harsher than a crotch reference.


Brown's comparison came after Willlie Geist said Pat Buchanan's "boys are holding the hostage." Buchanan had insisted that "What they’re saying is we don’t believe in tax increases. We don’t think they’ll work. They’re against our principles. They’re against our commitments. They’re off the table, Mr. President. Now be an adult and realize you’re not getting tax increases." Brown, however, insisted that it was up to Republicans to make compromises. "If the President has accommodated them, they should be accommodating him" said Brown.

The only statement anywhere near as strange as Brown's came from columnist Mike Barnicle, who insisted a tax hike is not a tax hike when you're repealing a Republican tax cut.

"The country is on the verge of being ungovernable because these people think in two year increments, and clearly never, not one of them has ever gone into a store during a sale day saying 'one day only, sneakers $19.95 instead of $29.95.' They say 'okay, going to buy the $19.95 price.' When they go back up to $29.95, instead of articulating that it's the regular price, they say "oh, that's an increase." No, it's not an increase. You know, if you - if you revert back to the to prior - before the Bush tax cuts, if you bring that back, that's not a tax increase. It's just not, but they claim it is."

Barnicle appears to think that the "real" tax rate is the magical figure agreed upon by policy wonks as a baseline. Repealing the Bush tax cut would cause Americans to pay more in taxes, but doesn't count as a tax increase in Barnicle's book because the same rate was lower before those cuts.

A transcript of the conversation, which aired at 7:04 am on Wednesday's Morning Joe, follows.

MSNBC
MORNING JOE
07/06/2011

7:04 am EDT

BUCHANAN: The situation is that the President of the United States can get an increase in the debt ceiling and will get one from the Republican House. And he will get cuts in spending from the Republican House. What they’re saying is we don’t believe in tax increases. We don’t think they’ll work. They’re against our principles. They’re against our commitments. They’re off the table, Mr. President. Now be an adult and realize you’re not getting tax increases.

BRZEZINKSKI: I think that’s my answer.

BUCHANAN: You’re getting spending cuts and you’re getting your debt ceiling. And you’re going to have to veto the increase in your debt ceiling and shut down the government yourself.

BROWN: But Pat, what’s accommodating about that? I mean, if the president has accommodated them, they should be accommodating him. I mean –

BUCHANAN: They’re accommodating him on the spending cuts. They’re going to go – I’m sure Obama has got in there spending cuts that Republicans like – maybe in defense, maybe in things like that. They’ll go along with spending cuts, compromise on that. But they say this is the wrong way to go. We don’t believe in it. We’ve committed against it. We can’t do it. Mr. President, you’re asking us to break our word and do something we think is not going to work and we’re not going to do it, sir.

BROWN: I think frankly the president would have no credibility if he did not demand some –

BUCHANAN: He’s going to demand it, but he’s not going to get it.

BRZEZINSKI: How is that — so I think the, what was the answer to my question that who the hostage take is, Willie?

GEIST: Sounds like Pat’s boys. Pat’s boys are holding the hostage.

BROWN: I think they’re the suicide bombers in all of this.

BRZEZINSKI: Oh my.

BUCHANAN: I think they’re standing on principle. They’re doing what they believe is right.

BARNICLE: They are just not serious people on both sides. The country is on the verge of being ungovernable because these people think in two year increments, and clearly never, not one of them has ever gone into a store during a sale day saying "one day only, sneakers $19.95 instead of $29.95." They say "okay, going to buy the $19.95 price." When they go back up to $29.95, instead of articulating that it's the regular price, they say "oh, that's an increase." No, it's not an increase. You know, if you - if you revert back to the to prior - before the Bush tax cuts, if you bring that back, that's not a tax increase. It's just not, but they claim it is.