New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote a blog post summing up the current state of the Republican Party, noting that he doesn't write about the "looming chaos" in the government as much as is warranted because "it’s hard to give this issue anything like the amount of coverage it deserves on substantive grounds without repeating oneself," but arguing that "neither you nor I should forget that the madness of the GOP is the central issue of our time."
In the short run the point is that Republican leaders are about to reap the whirlwind, because they haven’t had the courage to tell the base that Obamacare is here to stay, that the sequester is in fact intolerable, and that in general they have at least for now lost the war over the shape of American society. As a result, we’re looking at many drama-filled months, with a high probability of government shutdowns and even debt defaults.
Over the longer run the point is that one of America’s two major political parties has basically gone off the deep end; policy content aside, a sane party doesn’t hold dozens of votes declaring its intention to repeal a law that everyone knows will stay on the books regardless. And since that party continues to hold substantial blocking power, we are looking at a country that’s increasingly ungovernable.
Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.