David Brooks, "A Second G.O.P." January 28
SHORTER David Brooks, Twenty-Five Years in the Making: "Okay, so it turns out that the party won't remake itself in my image. But it should definitely do so in those areas where this would be an instant political winner."
T.H.E. fuck? Can we leave it at that? Can we simply note that, without getting into any details of this or any of his other Yale-approved middlebrow penseés, David Brooks is the freaking embodiment of that bloated, bureaucratic, partisan Washington he claims to distain? He sits in a $6 million house, cranks out 1500 words in a tough week, goes on the teevee to say them in different words, and all of 'em are the fucking same. All of 'em have been the fucking same for a quarter century, since he touched the hem of Milton Friedman's child-labor-factory garment. And all of them are guaranteed, guaranteed, to accomplish nothing.
Here, just for the record, is The Idea:
It’s probably futile to try to change current Republicans. It’s smarter to build a new wing of the Republican Party, one that can compete in the Northeast, the mid-Atlantic states, in the upper Midwest and along the West Coast. It’s smarter to build a new division that is different the way the Westin is different than the Sheraton.
The second G.O.P. wouldn’t be based on the Encroachment Story. It would be based on the idea that America is being hit simultaneously by two crises, which you might call the Mancur Olson crisis and the Charles Murray crisis.
Olson argued that nations decline because their aging institutions get bloated and sclerotic and retard national dynamism. Murray argues that America is coming apart, dividing into two nations — one with high education levels, stable families and good opportunities and the other with low education levels, unstable families and bad opportunities.
The second G.O.P. would tackle both problems at once. It would be filled with people who recoiled at President Obama’s second Inaugural Address because of its excessive faith in centralized power, but who don’t share the absolute antigovernment story of the current G.O.P.
Now, honestly, after I got over that Sheraton/Westin metaphor--professional word smithery!--I was reminded of P.J. O'Rourke. Not for the reason you might imagine, but because the great NatLamp Sunday newspaper parody included a Mr. Fix-It advice column, where someone wrote in that the morning sun was too strong in his front window, and the columnist recommended lifting the house off its foundation and rotating it 90º.
America is beyond wondering, or caring, whether Brooks actually believes this shit, or even believes there's someone out there who'd find it "thought provoking". We already know how Brooks and his insider ilk--self-proclaimed minorities in a minority party--have come to political prominence over Brooks' working lifetime. No, the single question left is one, really, only specialists can feign interest in: is the Republican party really this inept?
Remember that if Brooks is to be believed (I kid!) we're talking about the Party of Burkean Weekends. A party he now suggests must be abandoned across the vast empty stretches of its actual influence, to nativist, gun-totin' yahooliganism. Where'd those people even come from? Didn't you used to consider them The Help? (Although, it is the height of magnanimity, giving something you have no claim to over to its actual owners. I do hope this doesn't start a trend.)
In the meantime, where applicable, the Republican party will return to prominence by explaining to East Coast Elitists and Midwestern Progressives that what they really need is a combination of neo-Randianism and Uncut Racism.
What problem does this solve, now (let alone How)? Losing the popular vote in five of the last six Presidential elections? Who ya gonna run? You had two guys on that dais last time who could, conceivably, have been said to fit that mold; one of 'em was your nominee. The one who'd been running for seven years and had all the money. The other couldn't outpoll Herman Fucking Cain. Your problem isn't changing electoral demographics. It's the fucking Republican party.
Listen, Professor, most of us understand that none of you really wants to reform the Republican party; the real reformers are the Teabag arsonists. You're only interested in gingering the old nag so somebody'll buy it in 2016. There's a certain amount of schadenfreude involved in seeing you people squirm the way the rest of us have for the past thirty-five years as you gave them power and prominence in exchange for their supporting whatever corporate-friendly (wink wink) candidate you'd selected. But, really, I'd'a just as soon we'd passed on the whole thing.
There are a few tactical problems with this. For one, it didn't work that way from the start. Your boy Reagan was forced (I'm being kind) to fluff religious maniacs and unrepentant racists. Two things kept those appendages from nominating your last Presidential ticket: the surfeit, and complete insanity, of their Teabagger choices, and the strong desire among the faithful to kick the colored guy out of the White House by voting for "someone electable", who they confused with Mitt Romney. Think it'll be that way next time? Go ahead and bet against Santorum, then. For another, the Money in the Money Party isn't in Eastern banks anymore; it's in the hands of Middle Western and Further Out Western cranks. Again, take it up with Reagan. And Goldwater.
While you're at it, you might consider that you hooked the easy marks the first time. Jebus, the Flag, and Cheap Oil and Mineral Rights got you in the mess you've finally noticed. You really think you're going to hoodwink your way out of it?
For the life of me, Professor, just what th' hell's wrong with the Democratic party? It's wishy-washy. It caters to Big Business. It'll start just as many wars as the Republicans, though it tends to end them, eventually. Why don't you and your seven followers pretend to be Democrats, instead of pretending to give a fuck about anyone else? Too much ethnic food on the free buffet?