Posted by | July 6, 2011 10:18 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

Yesterday, conservative columnist David Brooks wrote a column urging Republicans to fulfill many of their long term goals by accepting (yes, accepting) a deal that may increase tax rates a bit.

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 billion 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 reaction on the right was immediate and vehement.  Paul Ryan criticized Brooks with blather that made his usual nonsense sound coherent.  Right wing blogs shouted traitor.  Harold Meyerson gets it right (h/t Dem From CT).

When zeal runs amok, the sense of proportion suffers. Today’s Republicans remind me of some leaders of the American Communist Party whom I got to know decades ago, after they’d left the fold. “We believed in the party line, in its infallibility, so completely,” one ex-commie told me, “that we’d forget the larger strategy for the momentary tactic.” So it was with Communists of yore; so it is with Republicans today.

A zealot is a zealot is a zealot.  And the zealots are running the show for the Republican Party.  The next few weeks will show whether they will remain in control through 2012.

 

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.