Larison frames the GOP's recent behavior:

One of the stories some conservatives told themselves in 2010 was that the Tea Party movement had succeeded in getting the Republican Party “out from under Bush.” ...Fresh off of a significant electoral victory aided in part by the Tea Party movement, what has been the first and most pressing priority of the Republican leadership? To make sure that the deficit-expanding tax cuts they failed to pay for in the Bush years continue to increase the deficit in the future, and to make sure that they don’t pay for them now.

The leadership has made clear that it is quite happy to add significantly to the debt through tax cut extensions, payroll tax cuts, and continued spending. Bush-era habits of spend-and-borrow have resumed within weeks of the midterms that supposedly represented the repudiation of these habits. Will the new members of the House and Senate rebel against this rapid return to the old ways? If Tea Partiers and conservatives are at all serious about reducing the debt, they need to make sure that they do.

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