New York Times columnist David Brooks, a moderate Republican who has watched his breed gradually die off over the past few years, uses his latest column to decry the GOP's antitax fanaticism, which has brought the debt-reduction negotiations to a standstill as the deadline to raise the debt ceiling approaches closer and closer.
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 million 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.
To Brooks's dismay, however, the GOP has been "infected by a faction" which does "not accept the logic of compromise," which does "not accept the legitimacy of scholars and intellectual authorities," and which has "no sense of moral decency." If the debt ceiling isn't raised and the federal government defaults, Brooks writes, it'll be the GOP's fault.
This isn't the first time that Brooks has criticized Republican obstinacy.
That was in December. Clearly, the GOP isn't listening. Why would they? They always get their way. Besides, Brooks is an intellectual.