FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
When it comes to the debt ceiling debate, members of the so-called Tea Party - particularly those in the House - have taken a hard line, and they are not straying from it. Deep spending cuts - no new taxes, or no deal.
Their unwillingness to compromise has not only hurt the chances of a deal on the debt debate, it's also damaged the negotiating power of their own party leaders like House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell who have grown more open to compromise as the clock ticks down toward a deadline.
It's a tough place to be for Republicans who aren't buying the Tea Party message, particularly those in the Senate who have shown interest in the Gang of Six bipartisan compromise. But compromise isn't on the Tea Party agenda, and the passage of the so-called Cut, Cap and Balance bill in the House earlier this week proves that.
The bill requires steeper spending cuts, and it pushes for a constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget. But of course that bill has little chance of passing in the Senate, and President Obama said he will veto it if it ever gets to his desk. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking.
In the end, House Republicans may be forced to vote for a short-term agreement on the debt ceiling to avoid a government default - and to save face with constituents. Either way, if a deal is reached on the debt ceiling by August 2, we'll find out just how much - or how little - power the Tea Party really has.
Here’s my question to you: Will the Tea Party's hard line on the debt ceiling ultimately help or hurt them?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
The Tea Party hard line position will take its toll in 2012. Americans want leaders to lead with reasonable solutions and sensible compromises. The Tea Party mantra: "Our Way or The Highway" has run its course.
I think that people who weren't paying attention, are paying attention now and they see the agenda of the Radical Republicans for what it is. Destroy Social Security, destroy Medicare, and protect their rich pay masters at any cost. They will get the blame if the economy crashes as a result of their thoughtless stupidity.
Carl in Pahrump, Nevada:
The Tea Party is making the Republicans look like the party of deadbeats that don’t pay their bills and honor their obligations. They are making the Republican Party obsolete.
Bizz in Quarryville, Pennsylvania:
Jack, I think it will definitely hurt them. When you refuse to negotiate and act like a spoiled child it only hurts your cause. House speaker Boehner has no say, he is a puppet on strings. I actually feel sorry for him having to deal with such a group.
Barbara in North Carolina:
They are not thinking about what is best for this country. They're thinking about how they can get rid of President Obama.
Alex in Bremerton, Washington:
Hard line purity will ultimately hurt them in this nation founded on political compromise. For centuries, the legislative process has been based on negotiation and compromise. The Tea Party ideologues have gridlocked the process of governing and threatened to drive our economy off a cliff. Many Americans, such as disabled Veterans, poor children and the elderly, will be hurt if the Tea Party has it their way.
Jim in Colorado:
Jack, it is going to hurt them. And hopefully it causes some of those extremists to be voted out in 2012. Every time I hear one of them on the news it makes me wonder what they have been putting in that tea they are drinking.