Bob Woodward’s new book The Price of Politics covers a lot of ground on how the Obama administration and Congressional Republicans fought to solve the nation’s debt crisis over the past three years. Along reporting on the overall dysfunction in Washington, Woodward describes leadership failings in both the White House and in Congress. But one of the more salient observations in the book is the Tea Party’s ability to hamstring compromise.
Though President Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) have appeared to position themselves as other ends of the spectrum regarding the debt crisis, Woodward writes that they were tantalizing close to a deal until talks collapsed at the last minute. The reason: Obama’s request for one last tax increase was wholly rejected by Boehner, who may not have been able to sell the deal to Tea Party Republicans.
President Bill Clinton alluded to the Tea Party’s influence in his speech at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday and said: “[The Tea Party] thinks government is always the enemy, they’re always right, and compromise is weakness.”
In the following video from The Atlantic and National Journal convention coverage, several speakers discussed why mainstream Republicans have been “held hostage” by the Tea Party and how they can win their platform back.