Here's the truth: Members of the Tea Party elected to Congress last fall are not very bright. That's what happens when voters elect representatives who are, in their words, "just like me."
Most Americans do not have the intellectual abilities to be members of Congress. The problems of our country and the world are complex and complicated. They can best be solved by deep thinkers. Voters should elect the smartest people they know, not "simple folks."
Our elected officials need to identify problems, understand underlying causes and investigate workable solutions. They need the skills to listen to the concerns of their constituents while recognizing the vested interests of power brokers. They need to be able to avoid the riptides of partisan politics while charting reasoned and reasonable legislation. They need to be able to analyze and distill differing points of view and come up with principled compromises.
None of these skills are evident in the current freshmen crop of congressional Republicans. They are unyielding in their ideology and intransigent in their politics. In their eyes, our economic woes are simple to solve - just stop spending money. That is painfully simplistic and just plain wrong. Their stubborn and mis-guided efforts to legislate away our social safety net is troubling. To achieve their ill-conceived goal of decimating the federal government, they have taken our economy hostage by creating disastrous congressional crises and stalemates.
And Republican House Speaker John Beohner should be ashamed for kowtowing to the Tea Party caucus and abandoning the "grand bargain" he was negotiating with President Obama and Senate Democrats to address our debt, deficit, budget and taxes, all in a responsible and historic plan.
Government is not the enemy. Yes, of course, we must be vigilant against government bloat, waste and intrusion. No one disputes that. But, running a nation, especially the most economically powerful one in the world, is extremely complex. It requires managing a mix of collecting revenue, controlling spending, inducing investment and protecting the safety and well-being of the citizenry, intelligently.
The current Republican members of the House of Representatives are not up to the task. They are simply not smart enough.