Paul Krugman looks at the work of the 113th Congress and notes that they voted to repeal reality for the 40th time last week. So how did they get to this fine state of disconnection?
For a long time the Republican establishment got its way by playing a con game with the party’s base. Voters would be mobilized as soldiers in an ideological crusade, fired up by warnings that liberals were going to turn the country over to gay married terrorists, not to mention taking your hard-earned dollars and giving them to Those People. Then, once the election was over, the establishment would get on with its real priorities — deregulation and lower taxes on the wealthy.
At this point, however, the establishment has lost control. Meanwhile, base voters actually believe the stories they were told — for example, that the government is spending vast sums on things that are a complete waste or at any rate don’t do anything for people like them. (Don’t let the government get its hands on Medicare!) And the party establishment can’t get the base to accept fiscal or political reality without, in effect, admitting to those base voters that they were lied to.
The result is what we see now in the House: a party that, as I said, seems unable to participate in even the most basic processes of governing.
And, according to many of them, this is just fine. Even with a 12% approval rating, most of them will be re-elected handily, and the prospects for the GOP to actually pick up a few Senate seats next year is about 50-50. So why should they do anything different?