I’ve been wondering when mainstream journalists were going to start calling out the extremism of the dominant wing of the Republican party. Today David Brooks answers the call:
Over the past few years, [the Republican Party] has been infected by a faction that is more of a psychological protest than a practical, governing alternative. The members of this movement do not accept the logic of compromise, no matter how sweet the terms. … The members of this movement do not accept the legitimacy of scholars and intellectual authorities. … The members of this movement have no sense of moral decency. … The members of this movement have no economic theory worthy of the name. … If responsible Republicans don’t take control, independents will conclude that Republican fanaticism caused this default. They will conclude that Republicans are not fit to govern. And they will be right.
Now, it’s possible to have only limited sympathy with Brooks here. He was, and still is, willing to use the Teahadis he holds in so much (well-deserved) contempt as useful idiots, in the service of a concerted scheme to entrench hereditary plutocracy. If he’s only now discovering that fanaticism doesn’t have an “off” switch, it’s fair to call him a slow learner. It wasn’t Glenn Beck that separated the GOP from reality and made fun of the “reality-based community”: it was Karl Rove and George W. Bush.
But give Brooks credit for saying what most of his fellow conservatives are still too timid to say: that until the Republican Party frees itself of domination by its extreme fringe, it will be unfit to govern.