But then Roberts said this about House Republican crazies and the possibility that Paul Ryan will run for Speaker of the House:
I went into the weekend thinking that Paul Ryan would bend to the will of the people in his party telling him he has to do it. But now I'm not so sure, because a lot of the feisty Republicans are saying, well, they're not so sure either. And they're being driven by the presidential candidates. You know, what is the mileage, David, in being a Speaker trying to get something done when you have a field of Republican presidential candidates out there saying, "If you get anything done, you're a sellout"?(Emphasis added.)
Oh, so that's the latest excuse for Republican extremism: It's just a momentary spasm that would never have happened if it weren't for a few loudmouth presidential candidates. Sure, that makes sense -- after all, congressional Republicans have been models of decorum up till now, as we saw in 2013, when they shut down the government even though there was no presidential campaign going on.
To Beltway journalists and pundits, GOP extremism is always a puzzling temporary anomaly. The Trump moment was supposed to pass in a fortnight, or maybe a month, or at worst a summer, then give way to a dull campaign in which sober-sided voters united around a Bush-Kasich or Rubio-Kasich ticket that, if elected, would surely get legislation passed, probably in a mood of comity lubricated by frequent after-work drinks with Democratic leaders, in the spirit of the sainted Tip and Ronnie. It's not clear why the peasants are still revolting, but surely this Trump thing will end any day now, oh, and the Carson thing, too. And before that we were told that, yes, the Tea Party moment in 2009 and 2010 was a tad unpleasant, but cooler Establishment heads prevailed in the 2014 midterms, and after that Republicans were undoubtedly determined to show they were " ready to govern."
The Beltway never accepts that the Republican rot is pervasive. It's always localized. It's always an exception to the rule. It's always the result of extenuating circumstances. Things will be back to normal any day now -- trust us.