Saturday, October 26, 2013

As I Survey the Endless Miles of Burning Wreckage

the modern GOP has left in its wake, it is somehow comforting to remember that David Brooks has been every bit as dazzlingly prophetic in his predictions about the bright future of the GOP (and the young world-beaters who would lead the Party of Personal Responsibility out of its post-Tom DeLay wilderness [yes, even though this was written in June of 2008, Mr. Brooks somehow fails to mention the preceding eight years of unmitigated Bush/Cheney clusterfuck]) as he was about the bright future of various crackpot Conservative economic schemes, John Thune, Iraq, the Administration of George W. Bush, all the Republican Renaissances he predicted before this one and pretty much everything else:
The Sam’s Club Agenda

Published: June 27, 2008

These writers came of age as official conservatism slipped into decrepitude. Most of them were dismayed by what the Republican Party had become under Tom DeLay and seemed put off by the shock-jock rhetorical style of Ann Coulter. As a result, most have the conviction — which was rare in earlier generations — that something is fundamentally wrong with the right, and it needs to be fixed.

Moreover, most of these writers did not rise through the official channels of the conservative or libertarian establishments. By and large, they didn’t do the internships or take part in the young leader programs that were designed to replenish “the movement.” Instead, they found their voices while blogging. The new technology allowed them to create a new sort of career path and test out opinions without much adult supervision.

There are dozens of writers I could put in this group, but I’d certainly mention Yuval Levin, Daniel Larison, Will Wilkinson, Julian Sanchez, James Poulos, Megan McArdle, Matt Continetti and, though he’s a tad older, Ramesh Ponnuru.

Ross Douthat and my former assistant, Reihan Salam, are two of the most promising. This pair has just come out with a book called “Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream.”

There have been other outstanding books on how the G.O.P. can rediscover its soul (like “Comeback” by David Frum), but if I could put one book on the desk of every Republican officeholder, “Grand New Party” would be it. You can discount my praise because of my friendship with the authors, but this is the best single roadmap of where the party should and is likely to head.

I’m not sure how quickly the G.O.P. can swing behind this working-class focus and this vision of government-enhanced social mobility. But the McCain campaign really needs to. So far, McCain’s platform is like an omnibus spending bill — lots of decent ideas thrown together with no larger social vision.

It may take a few defeats for the G.O.P. to embrace a Sam’s Club agenda, but sooner or later, it will happen. Trust me.


marindenver said...

A *Sam's* *Club* *agenda*??? Srsly?? Let's embrace an agenda that envisions no benefits, rock bottom wages and workers supplementing all this with Medicaid and SNAP. David Brooks is and always has been a complete and total fucking ignoramus asshole. I probably left off a number of pointed adjectives but those were what I came up with on short notice. Sam's Club Agenda. OMFG. But, yeah, that's what seems to be the right's North Star. We're so screwed.

Kathleen said...

How can the Republican Party reclaim a "soul" it never had?

Anonymous said...

You don't want to be part of any movement where Douthat and Salam are promising. I hope Brooks has a dominatrix to help him get over the shame he must feel at being David Brooks.