It has been suggested that the Tea Partiers would have preferred that the debt ceiling not be raised, even if it meant that the U.S. would go into default and lose its good, solid financial reputation, and along with it, certain benefits that come from that. Then, it was said, we would return to the Shire, having "defeated Mordor". Well, perhaps that is so. Speaking as one who was personally involved the very thing mentioned, I believe that a vitally important point should not be left unspoken. When the honorable Sirs Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrine Took returned with Master Frodo and myself to the Shire, we found that it was in a right sorry state of affairs and no mistake. My old Gaffer would tell you, there had been queer goings on, and if he said that, he was talking about things much worse than those that ought not to be mentioned in polite conversation (my but that word has changed its meaning since I was a boy)!
My point is, if the Tea Partiers think as Senator McCain and the WSJ imagine they do - like hobbits - then the Tea Party would not assume that the a refusal to raise the debt ceiling would have no unpleasant consequences, or that we wouldn't have a good deal of cleaning up to do. Masters Frodo, Merry, Pippin and I had quite a chore ahead of us when we got home. It has been described at the end of the account of the adventures of our Fellowship, under the heading, The Scouring of the Shire. By the time we had come back after our long journey, old Saruman had already reached Hobbiton ahead of us, and, under the name "Sharkey", he and a gang of human ruffians were well established as the Brown Shirt thugs enforcing a pretty bleak and Stalinesque industrial Worker's Paradise, turning the beautiful forests of the shire into a smoking, belching factory, and compelling the labor of our countrymen toward the end of spitefully destroying the spirit and freedom of our homeland. We hobbits, patriots that we are, do not shrink from rolling up our sleeves and setting about the hard work of fixing what is broken and in need of repair. We are under no illusion that it will always be more pleasant and easy than leaving things the way they are and hoping they get better on their own. But should everyone else be assuming that anticipating immediate hardship should cause us to forgo the effort to change things for the long run? I shudder to think of how Middle Earth would look if we of the Fellowship thought that way before we set out, for we knew it would be hard, though we certainly could never know just how terrible it would be at times. If we did, would we have cowered from our duty? I certainly hope not, for then we would be in a much worse state of affairs now and no mistake!