President Barack Obama likened Republicans to "hostage takers" for refusing to give up tax cuts for the wealthy when he wanted to only preserve tax cuts for the middle class.
California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton goes even further, accusing Republicans of "political terrorism" in a message to the party faithful.
In the missive today, Burton urges grassroots Democrats to contact House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to implore them to vote against the bargain between Obama and congressional Republicans. At a cost of about $900 billion over two years, the package would extend all the Bush-era tax cuts for two years, extend aid to the long-term unemployed and also lower Social Security payroll taxes.
Obama says the compromise is the best he can get.
But like many liberal Democrats, Burton says the deal is "a capitulation to the Republicans."
"Just as we do not negotiate with international terrorists, we must stand up to the political terrorism of the Republicans in the United States Senate," Burton says.
In the post-Sept. 11 world, those are fighting words that politicians have generally avoided.
"At some point, the American people have to know what kind of people these Republicans are. They may never find out if the Republicans can force their view point on the Administration, splitting the Democratic Party," Burton continues.
"The Republicans rant against the deficit, but they give billions, approaching trillions, of tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires."