It's not just conservative David Brooks who's getting a sinking feeling that a sizable faction of the GOP caucus is willing to default rather than make a deal with Democrats on our national debt.

Brooks argued in a July 4 column for The New York Times that if Republicans can get 85 percent spending cuts and 15 percent tax increases, that's a great deal. 'Democrats have agreed to a roughly 3-to-1 rate of spending cuts to revenue increases, an astonishing concession,' he wrote this week.

But the GOP's insistence that any and all tax increases are off the table in any debt ceiling deal demonstrates that: 'it has been infected by a faction that is more of a psychological protest than a practical, governing alternative,'  Brooks contends.

'If you're going to reach an agreement in a two party system, you have to give the other party something. You can't just pretend it doesn't exist.'

But since Republicans look like they have no intention of taking this deal, Brooks writes 'the Republican Party may no longer be a normal party.'

This might be the moment to reflect that the GOP has delivered over three trillion in cuts that the wealthiest have enjoyed in the past decade - coupled with the worst jobs creation record since WWII to show for it.

The GOP first manipulated the populist Tea Party movement but now it's extremist candidates are in office they're finding it difficult to absorb them in the wider movement.

Stung conservatives had a predictable response to Brook's observations this week but the fact remains: the GOP is in real trouble when conservatives challenge their ability to govern.