Is the Republican Party no longer a normal party?

Back to work today after “Capital Fourth,” as the National day celebrations are called here in the capital, with its parade, concert and huge fireworks display for the hundreds of thousands of spectators scattered on the grass under the monuments on the National Mall.

Warm and humid, as usual, and with the same festivities full of the usual nationalist elements: Star Spangled Banner, America the Beautiful, musicals, and, this time, with Steve Martin, actor and banjo man, and his bluegrass band as last night’s special treat.

But, back to work, even for the US Senate, which, after President Obama’s bantering last week that Congress should stay in Washington and do its job to reach a deal on the budget and the debt ceiling, rather than take the week off, went back to work today, without really having anything on the agenda.

New York Times columnist David Brooks writes today about the prospects for such a deal. Brooks, himself a Republican, is deeply pessimistic about today’s Republican Party reaching such a deal, although such an agreement would be greatly beneficial to the Republican Party.

Without naming the Tea Party movement directly by name, he writes:

”We can have no confidence that the Republicans will seize this opportunity. That’s because the Republican Party may no longer be a normal party…The members of this movement do not accept the logic of compromise. The members of this movement have no sense of moral decency… The members of this movement have no economic theory worthy of its name.”

Responsible Republicans must now take control of the party to reach agreement on the debt ceiling, Brooks concludes, otherwise the independents will conclude that Republican fanaticism led to failure.

“The will conclude that Republicans are not fit to govern. And they will be right.”

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