Maybe it’s the epic scale of Congress’ debt limit fight or just politicians’ natural geekiness coming out, but the last week is producing more fantasy and science fiction references than a Kevin Smith movie.
The Wall Street Journal got the ball rolling with a Lord Of The Rings themed editorial comparing Tea Partiers to Frodo and the gang:
“The idea seems to be that if the House GOP refuses to raise the debt ceiling, a default crisis or gradual government shutdown will ensue, and the public will turn en masse against . . . Barack Obama. The Republican House that failed to raise the debt ceiling would somehow escape all blame. Then Democrats would have no choice but to pass a balanced-budget amendment and reform entitlements, and the Tea Party Hobbits could return to Middle Earth having defeated Mordor.”
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) liked the analogy so much, he worked the piece into a floor speech calling on said “Tea Party Hobbits” to back a compromise on the debt ceiling.
Clearly hurt, Tea Partiers responded with LOTR reference of their own. Mark Meckler of the Tea Party Patriots told CNN that “Clearly he’s been corrupted by the ring of power.” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), an avowed fan of fantasy-inspired prog rock, took to the Internet to embrace his new title. “To those referring to ‘Tea Party hobbits’: I’d rather be a hobbit than a troll,” he wrote, attaching a picture of Gollum. His followers quickly corrected him, however, noting that Gollum is not actually a troll but a corrupted hobbit. Go figure.
And it’s not just J.R.R. Tolkien popping up in the discussion. Speaker Boehner reportedly warned his members that if they didn’t get on board with a debt ceiling increase, things would start to resemble certain events that took place a long time ago in a galaxy far away.
“He said if we pass August 2, it would be like ‘Star Wars,'” Rep. Scott DesJarlais recounted to the LA Times. “I don’t think the people who are railing against raising the debt ceiling fully understand that.”
One of Boehner’s chief opponents on the right in the debt ceiling fight, Erick Erickson, could at least agree with his taste in films. He dropped a post on Thursday entitled “Our Admiral Ackbar Moment — It Is A Trap,” a reference to Return Of The Jedi. This was in addition to this a separate post on President Obama’s health care law that featured a giant picture of Darth Vader the same day.
Just to be clear, no one’s making fun of them here at TPM.