Tuesday, November 11, 2008


David Brooks lays it out. Brooks tells us that the Traditionalists win for the near term future.
  • Congressional Republicans are predominantly Traditionalists.
  • Republicans from the coasts and the upper Midwest are largely gone.
  • Traditionalists have the institutions. Over the past 40 years, the Conservative Old Guard has built up a movement of activist groups, donor networks, think tanks and publicity arms.
  • not yet an effective Republican Leadership Council to nurture modernizing conservative ideas.
  • There is no moderate Club for Growth, supporting centrist Republicans.
  • Any publication or think tank that headed in an explicitly reformist direction would be pummeled by its financial backers.

Finally, Traditionalists own the conservative mythology.
  • small, heroic movement marching bravely from the Heartland into belly of the liberal elite.
  • anybody who deviates toward the center, is a coward, and a sellout.

The Traditionalists
  • GOP strayed from the true creed.
  • George W. Bush was a big-government type
  • John McCain was a Republican moderate
G.O.P. should return to its core ideas:
  • Cut government,
  • cut taxes,
  • restrict immigration.
  • Rally behind Sarah Palin.
Major voices are
  • Rush Limbaugh and
  • Sean Hannity
Plus an alliance of Old Guard institutions
  • Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform,
  • Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society and
  • Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council.
Traditionalists are pleased that the election wiped out some of the party’s remaining moderates

The Reformer

The reformers tend to believe that American voters will not support a party whose main idea is slashing government.

  • The Reformers propose new policies to address inequality and middle-class economic anxiety.
  • They tend to take global warming seriously.
  • They tend to be intrigued by the way David Cameron has modernized the British Conservative Party.
Conservatives have to
  • appeal more to Hispanics,
  • independents and younger voters.
  • They cannot continue to insult the sensibilities of the educated class and the entire East and West Coasts.
The Reformist view is articulated most fully by books, such as
  • “Comeback” by David Frum and
  • “Grand New Party” by Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam,
as well as the various writings of people like
  • Ramesh Ponnuru,
  • Yuval Levin,
  • Jim Manzi,
  • Rod Dreher,
  • Peggy Noonan and,
  • at the moderate edge, David Brooks


MarcLord said...

Um, I really hope you didn't write this, because that would mean that you are a Republican strategist, or used to work for one as a double agent. It's elegant.

MarcLord said...

ah-ha, didn't see the attribution. and yes, a double agent.

Jesus del Norte said...

It is great watching the Republicans in such disarray and I mean GREAT!!! I never dreamed I would be having so much fun and I mean FUN!!!