GOP Is Extorting Middle Class Krugman: Mitch McConnell might as well be a gangster By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted Sep 17, 2010 11:07 AM CDT 68 comments Comments In this June 16, 2010 file photo, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., speaks on Capitol Hill. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File) (Newser) – Mitch McConnell knows he doesn’t have the votes to blow up the budget by extending big tax cuts for the rich. “So he’s trying to get what he wants by pointing a gun at the heads of middle-class families,” writes Paul Krugman of the New York Times. Essentially, the GOP will block any attempt to extend the Bush tax cuts for the middle class, unless the cuts are also extended for the rich. Forget the economics (which are on the Democrats’ side). “There’s an even bigger issue here—namely, the question of what constitutes acceptable behavior in American political life.” This is outright extortion. “The GOP is, in effect, threatening to plunge the US economy back into recession unless Democrats pay up.” That Republicans would play chicken with stakes that high proves we’re dealing with “a radicalized Republican Party, which accepts no limits on partisanship.” For more on the tax cut debate, click here.