thedailybeast.com — If the Democrats under Tip O’Neill had behaved as today’s Republicans behave, they’d simply have blocked the Reagan budget in 1981, never let it come to the floor, let the country go to hell and let Reagan take the blame. That’s exactly what Republicans did. It may seem quaint, but they are legislators, and it was actually their job to help pull the country back from the brink — which, remember, they were willing to do as long as Bush was president. Put it like this. In 1981, the house was on fire. Democrats did a lot of finger-pointing, but at the end of the day, enough of them did help unfurl the hose. In 2009, the house was ablaze again, and the fire was more intense. And Republicans went down to the basement, turned the water off at its source, and sat back hoping to see the flames spread.