Tuesday, October 2, 2012

David Brooks Conservative Overview Begs The Question;Who Will Put the GOP Back Together?


This series shows how the media elite i.e. leftist, and some on the "right" view the 2012 election & its ultimate effect on the GOP, subsequent to what they see as a Romney loss. It also, via a consideration of a David Brooks look at the current state of the GOP, considers how the party can be renewed and go forward to a Reaganite future.

To give some due credit, the earlier articles, which included predictions of the Romney primary win and nomination, were written months ago. January in Packer's & Waldman's case and February in Klein's.Most prescient is David Frum writing to that effect in October 2011.

Their prescience might be diminished somewhat if Romney wins of course. I've put the salient points from the Frum/Packer/Waldman/Klein/Domenech/ articles in date published order AT THIS LINK. Only Domenech's which is from September has the advantage, of seeing how things are turning out (pretty much as the other three expected).

In brief all four earlier writers envisage the possibility of a Romney defeat. They bemoan the inevitable selection of a true conservative in 2016. One is saddened that the GOP did not nominate Gingrich so it could be "cured of its madness by his huge subsequent defeat". Their prescription (who asked them by the way?) is for the GOP to nominate yet another "moderate" on a moderate platform.

But since the rank and file is apparently "mad" this is unlikely to happen they say. Of course, the fact that if the Beltway grandees tried to foist another RINO on the rank and file after two losses in a row would cause the probable breakup of the GOP doesn't enter into their thinking. But they are hardly friends of the conservative rank and file.

Some of the media “heavy hitters” are looking beyond the current election, in fact have, presciently, been look beyond it since January, and considering the question: “what sort of candidate will the GOP run in 2016?”

Next in this series of David Brooks, resident conservative at The New York Times. Brooks examines the state of the GOP
in an article entitled "The Conservative Mind". This is followed by my comments on the comments by Eamon Fingleton, guest contributor at Forbes who wrote an article "Has David Brooks Defined a Turning Point for the Republican Party?' in response to Brooks column.

Brook article is indeed masterful. It begs the unaddressed question which is, if the GOP is fractured then who would be the "new Reagan" to put it back together again. For Brooks it doesn't appear to be Romney.

Here are the salient points from David Brooks;

On the one side, there were the economic conservatives. They upheld freedom as their highest political value. They admired risk-takers. They worried that excessive government would create a sclerotic nation with a dependent populace.
But there was another sort of conservative. This was the traditional conservative. [the] traditionalist wanted to preserve a society that functioned as a harmonious ecosystem,...
 So they were intensely interested in creating the sort of social, economic and political order that would encourage people to work hard, finish school and postpone childbearing until marriage.
      
The economic conservatives were in charge of the daring ventures that produced economic growth. The traditionalists were in charge of establishing the secure base.
Ronald Reagan embodied both sides of this fusion....  
In the polarized political conflict with liberalism, shrinking government has become the organizing conservative principle. Economic conservatives have the money and the institutions. They have taken control.  
Republicans like Romney often rely on an economic language that seems corporate and alien to people who do not define themselves in economic terms. No wonder Romney has trouble relating.  Conservatism has lost the balance between economic and traditional conservatism."
The key comment from Fingleton again begs the same question that arises from Brooks .If the current GOP leadership is non-Reaganite then who would be the "new Reagan" to rejoin both aspects of the Republican  party once again. The healer, visionary and renewer? To suggest it is a Romney now (as Frum does and Brooks clearly does not, or in 2016 Christie, Bush or Ryan is foolish. Only Sarah Palin, as a person of and from the people, with a record of economic prudence in government, brings these qualities.
"Has David Brooks Defined a Turning Point for the Republican Party?"

"In condemning the party’s obsession with simplistic economic ideology, [His] basic point is surely right: the human condition cannot be reduced to mere accounting pluses and minuses. The Republican party of the Eisenhower understood this and 1950s America was visibly the better for it (at least the white majority was and for minorities the trend on civil rights was already then moving in the right direction). It is past time the party rediscovered commonsense."   

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