Congressional Republicans have proven to be tough negotiators since entering office, and they’ve got Democrats poised to accept trillions in budget cuts in exchange for a few hundred million in closed tax loopholes, writes David Brooks in the New York Times. It’s “the mother of all-no brainers,” he writes, and “if the Republican Party were a normal party, it would take advantage of this amazing moment.” Unfortunately, there’s little indication that it will.
“That’s because the Republican Party may no longer be a normal party,” Brooks laments. It’s been “infected” by fanatics who “do not accept the logic of compromise, no matter how sweet the terms.” Ask them to raise tax levels at all, and they balk, no matter the warnings of experts about the threat of default. They’re willing to “stain their nation’s honor” by breaking its promise to repay the money it borrowed. Independent voters will blame Republicans if these talks fail—“and they will be right.”