Republican Brinksmanship: Playing Chicken with a Blind Driver

The Republican Party has taken its lumps, particularly in Wisconsin, but nationally still controls the House of Representatives and is exerting an almost unfathomable amount of power over the political process.

Most specifically, when it comes to the current argument over the debt ceiling, noted conservative (small “c”) blogger David Brooks of the NYTimes┬áhas said it best:

If the Republican Party were a normal party, it would take advantage of this amazing moment. It is being offered the deal of the century: trillions of dollars in spending cuts in exchange for a few hundred billion dollars of revenue increases.

A normal Republican Party would seize the opportunity to put a long-term limit on the growth of government. It would seize the opportunity to put the country on a sound fiscal footing. It would seize the opportunity to do these things without putting any real crimp in economic growth.

But this isn’t the “normal” Republican Party. This is the party of Palin and Bachmann. A party whose most hardcore supporters have coerced into being a bludgeon against all things government and anything short of virtual anarchy. The Tea Party is the epitome of all that is wrong in today’s politics. They have no wiggle room: you are either with us or you are trying to take away our freedoms and rights that Paul Revere rode forth through the Battle of Waterloo on his trusted steed Shadowfax to proclaim on Twitter (or something like that).

Brooks continues:

The members of this movement do not accept the logic of compromise, no matter how sweet the terms. If you ask them to raise taxes by an inch in order to cut government by a foot, they will say no. If you ask them to raise taxes by an inch to cut government by a yard, they will still say no.

The members of this movement do not accept the legitimacy of scholars and intellectual authorities. A thousand impartial experts may tell them that a default on the debt would have calamitous effects, far worse than raising tax revenues a bit. But the members of this movement refuse to believe it.

He has more great lines in the op-ed that you really should read in full.

I have said before, that I work in a Republican office in the Assembly and all I can say to my party is: stop being so damned willfully ignorant and do your damned jobs. From one conservative to another, the rise of the Tea Party and their willfully ignorant masses is indication of nothing more than we better make economics courses mandatory in K12.