Emerging From Under the Rock

The splendid Mr. Krugman has a supremely justified ‘I told you so‘:

There aren’t many positive aspects to the looming possibility of a U.S. debt default. But there has been, I have to admit, an element of comic relief — of the black-humor variety — in the spectacle of so many people who have been in denial suddenly waking up and smelling the crazy.

A number of commentators seem shocked at how unreasonable Republicans are being. “Has the G.O.P. gone insane?” they ask.

Why, yes, it has. But this isn’t something that just happened, it’s the culmination of a process that has been going on for decades. Anyone surprised by the extremism and irresponsibility now on display either hasn’t been paying attention, or has been deliberately turning a blind eye.

And may I say to those suddenly agonizing over the mental health of one of our two major parties: People like you bear some responsibility for that party’s current state.

Along the same lines, here’s Bob Corker, beating himself and his party up over their own stupidity (emphasis is mine):

“Maybe the debt ceiling was the wrong place to pick a fight, as it related to trying to get our country’s house in order,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said Thursday. “Maybe that was the wrong place to do it.”

Speaking from the Senate floor, Corker said Republicans demanded linking the two issues because the Senate hasn’t passed a budget in more than 800 days. “I credit both sides for that,” he said. But now, the inability of the White House and Congress to agree to a spending deal — and ensure a timely debt ceiling increase — is “helping our great nation go into decline.”

For months, House and Senate GOP leaders have vowed not to raise the debt limit without tying the vote to substantial deficit reduction. The White House and Democratic leaders initially protested, citing grave economic consequences of toying with a debt-ceiling hike. But they eventually acquiesced as Republican leaders made it clear they weren’t budging.

If this weren’t so life-and-death serious, I’d be enjoying it.

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