Paul Krugman Diagnoses the G.O.P.'s Mental Health

Paul Krugman's Friday column is titled 'Getting to Crazy.' Text box: 'How the G.O.P. lost its mind,' and it's exactly what you would expect.

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.

And may I say to those suddenly agonizing over the mental health of one of our two major parties: People like you bear some responsibility for that party's current state.