PEEK

Krugman: 'Republicans Have Become Embarrassing to Watch'

"It behooves us to look closely at the state of what is, after all, one of our nation's two great political parties."

Anti-tax organizers of "tea parties" around the country have tried to keep out fringe elements like birth certificate conspiracy theorists and potentially embarrassing national politicians like Michael Steele and David Vitter. But Paul Krugman writes in the New York Times Monday that the "movement" is of a piece with the Republican party of the past decade or so:

Republicans have become embarrassing to watch. And it doesn't feel right to make fun of crazy people. Better, perhaps, to focus on the real policy debates, which are all among Democrats.

But here's the thing: the G.O.P. looked as crazy 10 or 15 years ago as it does now. That didn't stop Republicans from taking control of both Congress and the White House. And they could return to power if the Democrats stumble. So it behooves us to look closely at the state of what is, after all, one of our nation's two great political parties.

The tea parties, he points out, are funded by typical Republican billionaires and promoted by Fox News. The crazy attacks that spring up at them resemble the ones levied at Clinton. Krugman doesn't say how, in his opinion, the GOP will once again take power. But, he concludes, "we can only hope that Republicans have moved on by the time that happens."

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