Even Richard Hofstadter Would Be Amazed by Tea Party Extremism. By Robert Brent Toplin. History News Network, October 7, 2013.
The government “shutdown” can teach us a lot about American politics. Even after it’s over, a central question will remain. Why did they do it? Why did congressional Republicans trigger a shutdown for which they would predictably be blamed and from which they could win few Democratic concessions? The conventional answer blames stupidity, craziness and fanaticism. This is too glib and partisan. It misses a deeper cause that, I believe, helps explain why politics has become more dysfunctional.