A very important passage in The Nation:

There are two extremely frustrating things about today’s media environment as it relates to the Republican Party. The first, as the Washington Monthly’s Steve Benen described over the weekend, is the extent to which the media has simply forgotten the previous decade of GOP rule. For at least four years, Republicans governed with few obstacles to their agenda, securing tax cuts, wars, unfunded new entitlements, and continued deregulation. The results were trillions of dollars in wasted spending, trillions more in lost revenue, deep dysfunction on nearly every level of government, and an economic crisis of nearly world-historical proportions. Despite this, media elites continue to treat the Republican Party — and the architects of its disastrous party — as credible voices on public policy, as if 2001 to 2008 never happened...


The other is the extent to which media outlets treat current Republican behavior as politics-as-usual, despite the extraordinary nature of their actions. Simply put, this is the first time in American history that a political party has threatened to default on the nation’s debt and sabotage the global economy on the basis of narrow ideological goals.
These two points need to be pumped through the system repeatedly. What they make clear is that the GOP has no program or agenda that actually works or means anything in the real world of people and things. Look at Minnesota. It's the terminal point for the current course of American politics.