Founding Fathers turning in their graves, reckons Le Monde

by Toby Manhire / 09 October, 2013
A French newspaper castigates the Tea Party over the shutdown and urges Jefferson to save Washington from the crazies.
A word of advice for America from the land that gave them the Statue of Liberty. “Once upon a time, there was a Republic that knew how to overcome ideological differences,” sighs an editorial in Le Monde (translated at World Crunch).

“It was largely governed from a certain middle ground, a magical place and the matrix of what political art can produce in its most intelligent and, often, noble form: reform by compromise.”

The headline: “Jefferson, wake up, they’ve gone crazy!”

The bizarre events surrounding the shutdown of vast parts of the Federal Government illustrate the corrosion of those values amid an “increasingly polarised American public life”, laments the famous newspaper. And the blame is lain squarely at the feet of the “extremist, fundamentalist core of the Republican Party” that is determined to “sabotage Obama’s presidency”: the Tea Party.

Le Monde, which ran the famous “Today We Are All Americans” commentary on September 12 2011, is damning of Washington’s brinksmanship.

“A majority of the American people strongly oppose the Tea Party, but their representatives in Congress risk nothing,” it concludes.

“Their constituencies were tailor-made by Republican governors, guaranteeing them re-election. And meanwhile, the Founding Fathers of this great Republic will continue to turn over in their proverbial grave.”

It’s not difficult to imagine how the Tea Partiers might reply. Something to do with cheese, surrender and monkeys, perhaps.

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