In Paranoia Strikes Deep, Economist/columnist Paul Krugman explains today the difficulty California has getting budgets passed, and how this threatens the ability of the entire country to govern itself:
… the G.O.P. has been taken over by the people it used to exploit. … Once elections were won, the issues that fired up the base almost
always took a back seat to the economic concerns of the elite. … After the Democratic sweep, however, extremists could no longer be fobbed off with promises of future glory. … Because these people aren’t interested in actually governing, they feed
the base’s frenzy instead of trying to curb or channel it. So all the
old restraints are gone. …
… And if Tea Party Republicans do win big next year, what has already
happened in California could happen at the national level. In
California, the G.O.P. has essentially shrunk down to a rump party with
no interest in actually governing — but that rump remains big enough to
prevent anyone else from dealing with the state’s fiscal crisis. If
this happens to America as a whole, as it all too easily could, the
country could become effectively ungovernable in the midst of an
ongoing economic disaster.
The point is that the takeover of the
Republican Party by the irrational right is no laughing matter.
Something unprecedented is happening here — and it’s very bad for
America. [emphasis added]
This is a perfect description of what has happened in California, and could spread to the entire country.