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Great passage from Bill Kristol's post this morning praising House Republicans for being the only transparent, honest, and principled group involved in the present debates:
So the morally bankrupt leaders of our fiscally bankrupt federal government meet feverishly behind closed doors, out of sight of the public they're supposed to represent, to figure out how to paper over the mess they've created. Gangs of senators occasionally emerge from their hideouts to announce deals that would raise taxes and gut defense in response to a crisis caused by domestic spending and entitlements. The gangs roam the halls of the Capitol, invading television studios in order to terrorize the citizenry with the prospect of default and mayhem. They then retreat to their lairs, while Beltway insiders shower them with praise while scorning the actual legislation produced and passed by House Republicans in accord with the norms of democratic government.
It's a weird world in which the gangs he describes are the reasonable "adults in the (hidden, behind-closed-door) room," that phrase so loved by the salonistas, while the Republicans are the extremists out in the hallway or on the lawn. But it's the world we live in.
As I said yesterday in my column, the House Republicans are not extremists. They are responding in a common-sense way to a set of circumstances that in the long run is even worse than they say.
The questions remains: can they take the 16-month view that George Will suggests, and help lead the energetic and impatient tea party into that same 16-month strategy? If so, history will reward them as having deftly managed a debt crisis with sound policy and happy political outcomes, too.