But, of course, a more rational part of me knows that this is a fruitless hope. After all, didn't I just say that they believe whatever they want to believe? You can't convince them with proof. They'll just come up with some crazy argument that the US didn't default, that the administration held back its secret hoard of money to punish Republicans at the polls. When you're dealing with people who engage in magical thinking, "proof" is a meaningless word.
Unfortunately, it's looking more and more like the "I told you so" portion of my brain may get some satisfaction. As the August 2 deadline approaches, there are few signs that the nuts are becoming saner and that reality will finally sink in. And while that may not happen to the looniest Republicans, it's happening to their traditional backers and enablers.
There aren't many positive aspects to the looming possibility of a U.S. debt default. But there has been, I have to admit, an element of comic relief -- of the black-humor variety -- in the spectacle of so many people who have been in denial suddenly waking up and smelling the crazy.
A number of commentators seem shocked at how unreasonable Republicans are being. "Has the G.O.P. gone insane?" they ask.
Why, yes, it has. But this isn't something that just happened, it's the culmination of a process that has been going on for decades. Anyone surprised by the extremism and irresponsibility now on display either hasn't been paying attention, or has been deliberately turning a blind eye.
I'm guessing it's the latter. Although it's only really come to a head relatively recently. It was the McCain/Palin rallies, with their cries of "terrorist" and "kill him," that lead to the town hall mobs. It was the town hall mobs that led to the Tea Party. And it was the Tea Party that led to a largely fact-free debate on jobs, the deficit, and the economy. And before all that, there was conservative talk radio, miseducating a generation with lies and distortions and propaganda. Rush Limbaugh's audience has finally been elected to congress and the result is a impending crisis that they refuse to acknowledge even exists.
And the reason they refuse to believe the eminently believable is because they are, at base, cowards and spoiled children. Unable to face the harsh and frightening facts of the real world, they threaten to hold their breath until they get their pony. They don't like the facts, so they demand the facts change to suit them. The fact that Reagan's vision of a glorious supply-side economy is turning out to be a complete failure most definitely does not suit them. So wishful thinking passes for reasoning and baseless opinion becomes fact.
At this point, the best we can hope for is that voters wake up to what useless, bratty jerks the Republican Party has become and vote them out of office when the next election cycle rolls around -- if not before then.