Someone needs to study the Republican Party, and not a political scientist, but “a mental health professional,” writes Richard Cohen of the Washington Post. “The GOP needs an intervention. It has become a cult.” To get into the cult, one must not just “mouth banalities about Ronald Reagan,” but take pledges—like Grover Norquist’s “Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” in which politicians vow to oppose all tax increases.
“Almost all the GOP’s presidential candidates have taken this oath, swearing before God and Grover Norquist to cease thinking on their own.” But then, cults are all about replacing reason with “feverish beliefs.” The GOP refuses to believe in the power of stimulus (which ended the Great Depression) or global warming (a theory supported by “much of science, common sense, and your average walrus”). The result is “an intellectual barrier for admittance to the presidential race: Independent thinkers, stop right here!”