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Lawrence O’Donnell: Most In Tea Party “Didn’t Know There Was A Debt Ceiling” Until I Told Them

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell started The Last Word last night in unusual fashion, playing an extended clip from The West Wing where characters talk about the debt ceiling. O’Donnell, it turns out, wrote the scene and he’s pretty passionate about the debt ceiling.

Not raising the debt ceiling, O’Donnell says, is unthinkable: “the end of the world as we know it. A world financial calamity that would plunge us into a depression unlike any we’ve ever seen.”

O’Donnell says Congress has never even flirted with the idea of failing to raise the debt ceiling–until now. Why now? O’Donnell says because voters have sent those Tea Party people to Washington:

“And most of them didn’t know there was a debt ceiling until I raised the question of how they would vote on it on election night. Now, with enough Tea Partiers talking about maybe not raising the debt ceiling, the White House is really worried.”

But that didn’t sway Republican Rep. Michael Burgess, who said he’s leaning toward voting no on lifting the ceiling and adds he’s voted in favor of a ceiling lift in the past, and considers that “one of the worst votes I ever took.”

Watch it here, from MSNBC:

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