Haunted by David Brooks

David Brooks gave reporters a temporary license to ask Republicans a question: Seriously, are you guys nuts? In his first column of the week, Brooks argued that Republicans had “infected by a faction that is more of a psychological protest than a practical, governing alternative.” There was a deal on debt to be had, but Republicans were too crazy to take it. And today, the first day all members of Congress were back at work, they asked Republicans to respond to Brooks.

“David Brooks wrote a column,” asked a reporter at Eric Cantor’s briefing, “where he raised the question of you have got all these trillions of dollars in spending cuts that you say the Biden group has vetted, and the Democrats say, we won’t go there without a revenue increase. Why not take the deal and give them a couple hundred billion dollars in revenue increases?”

Cantor shrugged it off. “Because the President needs us to respond to his request to raise the debt limit.”

Later, Sen. John Cornyn, who runs the NRSC, was asked the same basic question.

“Mr. Brooks had, I think, the facts wrong,” said Cornyn, “and I think Sen. Kyl is going to call him and enlighten him. Part of what he said is there to be had is not, in fact, there to be had.”