Thomas "What's The Matter With Kansas?" Frank nails it:
You've got people [in the Republican party] whose philosophy is one of cynicism towards government and one of complete disrespect towards particular branches of government. ... They've run these branches of government completely in reverse, put people in charge of them who don't believe in the mission, and done everything else to make government accountable not to the voters, but to the business community.
This has resulted in disaster in numerous cases. Now, when you look upon the disaster, do you say this is because government doesn't work? Or do you say, this is because a philosophy of government doesn't work? The obvious conclusion to anybody watching this stuff unfold is to say government just can't do anything right -- look how badly it's botched this job.
But the correct answer is that government obviously does work in certain circumstances, in other countries, and it's even worked here when it wants to. What they're doing right now at the Fed and the Department of Treasury is they're playing the game exactly right -- they're intervening decisively, quickly -- they're doing it exactly right. When the chips are down and when it's something conservatives care about, they can make government work.
But the natural conclusion is just to blow it all off with cynicism. It's so easy to be cynical. We confuse cynicism with sophistication. The correct answer is that it's a philosophy of government that's failed, but you can't say that in the media.
This is what I've been saying in my argument that Republican rule actually imposes more taxes on society than Democratic rule does. It's disastrous to put people antithetical to the whole idea of economic, industrial and environmental regulation in charge of the agencies charged with enforcing those regulations. It's a disaster that hits squarely in the wallet. It's a tax on bad economic and social philosophy.