As Congress struggles to reach a deal to raise the debt ceiling, David Brooks blasts Republicans for refusing to accept a favorable deal that would have ensured trillions of dollars in spending cuts as well as changes to entitlement programs, calling it a "missed opportunity."
Earlier this month, Brooks wrote in his New York Times column that the deal Democrats have put on the table is “the mother of no-brainers” and that the GOP “may no longer be a normal party” because it has put its anti-tax ideology ahead of practical governing.
Today, Brooks follows up by naming names.
He calls out the "Beltway Bandits," particularly Grover Norquist, the head of Americans for Tax Reform, who Brooks calls "the Zelig of Republican catastrophe."
Also to blame for the current impasse are talk radio jocks -- "Big Government blowhards" -- who get ratings by firing up their listeners with partisan rhetoric; "show horses" such as Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann who "produce tweets, not laws"; and "permanent campaigners" in Congress who care more about getting re-elected than they do about governing.
These groups "do not believe in seizing opportunities to make steady, messy progress toward conservative goals," Brooks writes. "They believe that politics is a cataclysmic struggle."