The usual suspects are pretending to have their fee-fees hurt because Steny Hoyer compared the Republican debt-ceiling threats to hostage-taking. Two things to note here:

1. It was Mitch McConnell who originally made he comparison. The difference is that Hoyer disapproves of hostage-taking, while McConnell was bragging about it. As far as I can find, no wingnut complained about McConnell’s boast that the full faith and credit of the United States was “a hostage worth ransoming.”

2. If the GOP doesn’t want to be accused of extortionate tactics, perhaps it could consider not practicing extortion. And yes, I count threatening the nation’s credit and the national honor by forcing the federal government to default on obligations undertaken according to law as extortion. What do you call it?

[Cross-posted at The Reality-based Community]

Mark Kleiman

Mark Kleiman is a professor of public policy at the New York University Marron Institute.