(4 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
There are no more “normal” people in charge of government these days, nor are any of them reasonable:
Paul Krugman Not A normal Party:
But I’m unreliable and shrill, of course – you weren’t supposed to realize that the GOP had gone off the deep end that early in the game.
David Brooks: The Mother of All No-Brainers
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.
The party is not being asked to raise marginal tax rates in a way that might pervert incentives. On the contrary, Republicans are merely being asked to close loopholes and eliminate tax expenditures that are themselves distortionary.
This, as I say, is the mother of all no-brainers.
Richard Cohen: A grand old cult
Someone ought to study the Republican Party. I am not referring to yet another political scientist but to a mental health professional, preferably a specialist in the power of fixations, obsessions and the like. The GOP needs an intervention. It has become a cult.
To become a Republican, one has to take a pledge. It is not enough to support the party or mouth banalities about Ronald Reagan; one has to promise not to give the government another nickel. This is called the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” issued by Americans for Tax Reform, an organization headed by the chirpy Grover Norquist. He once labeled the argument that an estate tax would affect only the very rich “the morality of the Holocaust.” Anyone can see how singling out the filthy rich and the immensely powerful and asking them to ante up is pretty much the same as Auschwitz and that sort of thing.
This intellectual rigidity has produced a GOP presidential field that’s a virtual political Jonestown. The Grand Old Party, so named when it really did evoke America, has so narrowed its base that it has become a political cult. It is a redoubt of certainty over reason and in itself significantly responsible for the government deficit that matters most: leadership. That we can’t borrow from China.
It is miles to go before the 2012 Congressional races begin in earnest, but already some of the 87 freshmen who helped the Republicans win back the House last year are bracing for a challenge from within the party. At least half a dozen potential primary challengers to freshmen are considering a run, and there is heated chatter about more.
In some ways, the freshmen are responsible for their own predicament. Many won their seats after successfully challenging establishment Republicans in primaries, proving that a combination of gumption and the right political climate could overcome the advantages of incumbency.
Now, to some of the impatient and ideological voters who sent them to Washington to change things, the new House members may be seen as the establishment, and they face the disconcerting prospect of immediately defending themselves in the political marketplace.
The White House and the Democratic leadership aren’t any better having dropped the ball and allowed a small “cult” of unreasonable people to dictate the game. Obama was suppose to be “the adult in the room” according to his fans. He could have easily had the upper hand in his first two years in office if he had listened to reason about the economy and put his “foot down” like an “adult”. There is little reason to think that the Democrats will listen to “normal” people now