Yesterday, the entire Senate Republican caucus signed a letter vowing to block every piece of legislation unless the body holds a vote on the extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. This came after two years of a concerted GOP effort to “obstruct, delay, obstruct, delay,” as Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said yesterday. This morning, at a debate with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) at the American Enterprise Institute, conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks slammed the GOP’s reflexive obstructionism and demand for ideological purity, saying their “rigidity” harms “governance” and is based on a false world view that progressives are a “bunch of socialists”:
BROOKS: And my problem with the Republican Party right now, including Paul, is that if you offered them 80-20, they say no. If you offered them 90-10, they’d say no. If you offered them 99-1 they’d say no. And that’s because we’ve substituted governance for brokerism, for rigidity that Ronald Regan didn’t have.
And to me, this rigidity comes from this polarizing world view that they’re a bunch of socialists over there. You know, again, I’ve spent a lot of time with the president. I’ve spent a lot of time with the people around him. They’re liberals! … But they’re not idiots. And they’re not Europeans, and they don’t want to be a European welfare state. … It’s American liberalism, and it’s not inflexible.