Timothy Egan, liberal New York Times reporter turned left-wing, Rush Limbaugh-despising online columnist for nytimes.com, tried to smear fiscal conservatives in Congress as akin to the violent anarchists (actually leftists) who rampaged through Seattle in 1999 in a 'protest' against the World Trade Organization, using hammers to smash windows of retail chain stores.
Egan opened his Thursday evening post, 'The Republicans' Flirtation With Anarchy,' with scenes from the infamous Seattle riots in 1999 (which he covered for the Times as a reporter).
Amid shattered glass and the black smoke of urban pyres, I found myself in a riot some years ago - the anarchists-led assault on the World Trade Organization meetings of 1999. At the height of what became known as The Battle of Seattle, I bumped into an otherwise mild-mannered, libertarian-leaning friend on the streets, gasping at the bitter taste of tear gas. He was ecstatic.
'Isn't it great?' he shouted. 'The established order is coming down!'
Turns out, only Nike Town, the Gap and a few other outposts of global capitalism were coming down, and just for a day or so. But the nihilistic spirit of those window-smashers, whose goal was to bring chaos to a city of passive refinements, seems to have found a home: in the Republican Party.
That's a slanted and dubious anecdote.It would take a very strange "libertarian" to register pleasure at the sight of anti-capitalist violence.
Egan showed even more nerve by calling conservative budget-cutters 'anarchists' to link them to the thugs who broke windows in Seattle. Of course it's a metaphor, because Republican protests don't devolve into rampages against property. These days, violent mobs in America are the sole province of the left.
Based on Boehner's math, the anarchists make up perhaps 25 percent of the G.O.P. House. At the other end of party control are the moneyed interests who've long bankrolled Republicans. They're happy, of course, that their favored politicians are willing to go to the brink of catastrophe to keep even the most egregious tax loopholes from being closed. But now they're getting scared, as the anarchist wing indicates it is serious about bringing the whole government down - and with it a lot of private money.
Egan is quite pleased with his violent metaphor (and to re-emphasize - when it comes to conservatives, it is only a metaphor).
Note who is getting the reassurance from the Senate Republican leader. But it may be too late. The loafers may want to retreat to their wine cellars until this thing blows over. A renegade wing of their party is lighting fires and throwing rocks (metaphorically, of course!). Once they got a taste of smoke in their nostrils, the anarchists realized they could smash the place up, maybe even burn it down, and no one would stop them. After Aug. 2, the default deadline, the smell will go bad, quickly.