The liberal editorialist who leads the opinion pages of the nation’s largest newspaper says that Idaho GOP Rep. Raul Labrador and his tea party colleagues suffer from “political blindness” that may prompt them to trigger another government shutdown early next year.
“Every time Republicans suffer a rejection of the most right-wing items on their agenda, a significant number decide they haven’t been sufficiently crazy,” writes New York Times Editorial Page Editor Andrew Rosenthal in his blog. “That was the conclusion that many Republicans drew from the defeat of Mitt Romney in 2012. And now that Republicans in Congress have been forced to surrender in their fight with President Obama over the budget, health care and the nation’s credit, some are drawing the same conclusion.”
Rosenthal uses a quote from Labrador — spoken after Wednesday’s temporary debt and deficit deal — to make his case. Said Labrador: ”I’m more upset with my Republican conference, to be honest with you. It’s been Republicans here who apparently always want to fight, but they want to fight the next fight, that have given Speaker Boehner the inability to be successful in this fight. So if anybody should be kicked out, it’s probably those Republicans.”
Adds Rosenthal: “(I)n the view of this crowd, having the same fight again in an election year (which could happen since the debt ceiling was raised only until Feb. 15) could actually be a good thing. That’s not so shocking, I guess, coming from the bomb-throwing Tea Party wing, but the political blindness goes farther than that.”