CNN) -- Last month, two political scientists published one of those rare op-eds that gets the political community talking.
The thesis of the piece was contained in the title: "Let's just say it: The Republicans are the problem."
In case that was not clear enough, the authors elaborated: "We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional.
"In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.
"The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.
"When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country's challenges."