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« Gingrich will again be the story | Main | Dear Mr. Jindal: Please don't feed the buffoons »

February 28, 2012


Bruce Adams

So after years of uttering "Thank You Sir, may I have another?" David Brooks has finally pulled his pants up. Now will he walk out of the fraternity house?

priscianus jr

Here is the straw that broke the camel's back:

Robert Lipscomb

The GOP primary is all about establishment Republicans taking full control of the party. the original intent was to accomplish this through a Romnet juggernaut. That is now impossible.

My guess is they let Romney die a slow political death and turn the 2012 campaign over to Santorum and the "Mesheganah Republicans"; so they can explode.

Then, the Establishment Republicans - who are always playing the strategic long game - will pick up the pieces and control.

Peter G

I would very much like to think you are right Mr Lipscomb. But I find the theory that an object lesson in failure will bring the political fringe to their senses to be unpersuasive. These people who have taken over the Republican party are so steeped in irrationality that nothing is going to bring them back. I suspect the party will split. I'd like to believe that the more sane part will ultimately prevail since it is the pragmatic part and money, the fuel of politics, will follow the faction more likely to be successful. Politics to such people is means to an end and not an end itself. The tea party types will wander off into the political wilderness howling. I hope. But they will not disappear.


If you have political goals, a crushing defeat may lead to a sobering reassessment. If the goals are mainly religious, defeat will likely lead to a redoubling of effort.

paul flowers

Peter G., I agree that the business wing never could have imagined losing control of the party. This was never part of any plan.

However, a split leaves both factions in worst of all possible worlds. Then they lose everything and the Democrats sweep back into control of all branches of the government.

Like it or not, both GOP factions sides have to live with each other. That is a huge problem that leaves them at an essential slatemate for the foreseeable future. I'd like to believe the sane people will prevail, but they are losing now and don't seem to have any answers.


Peter G., I agree with you that we may soon see the formation of a new political party, with the splitting off of what's left of Republican moderates/traditional conservatives joining, perhaps, with some conservative Democrats. I have sensed this for some time now, ever since the 2008 election, really, as I watched the display of racial hatred, intolerance, xenophobia and fear that impregnated Republican rallies and the Republican media outlets. It was always the case that having to pander to such a base was a losing proposition in a nation in the thralls of dramatic ethnic, cultural and economic transformations, as symbolized by Barack Obama. I was never fooled by the hooplah and hysteria surrounding the 2010 elections, that ushered in the Tea Party. This was not a truly democratic election, in the sense that it was bought and paid for by the Citizens United decision and American Crossroads; the electorate that participated represented this Republican Base, a small sliver of the American electorate, the one that is slowly vanishing into the wilderness like a lone cowboy. It was the best thing that could happen to the Democrats--it crystallized the total lack of a credible opposition party in the eyes of the electorate. For the nation, it has opened the distinct possibility, if not necessity, of an alternative party with a conservative bent that is adapted to the 21st century.


On occasion, one feels the need to backhand David Brooks.

This is just such an occasion - not for Mr. Brooks's decision to dare to question the Tea Party and talk radio crowd, but for Mr. Brooks's decision to sit on his hands when he wasn't authoring columns on such ridiculous topics as the socioeconomic functions of "happiness".


Brooks: "These days the fight is between the protesters and the professionals.... The big difference is that the protesters don’t believe in governance."

Well, no, that is what they have in common.

The "professionals'" views on the payroll tax, and on an individual health insurance mandate, on Keynesian stimulus, on raising the debt ceiling, on housing vouchers, on the EITC, on cap and trade, and everything else, are the same-- they have no beliefs, only hatred for the president and a desire for power.

There's very little difference between John Boehner and any random Tea person waving signs about socialism. Boehner just makes more money at it. As Bruce Bartlett explained: The Democratic Party is now the “adult” party in American politics, willing to do what has to be done for the good of the country. The same cannot be said of Republicans, who seem unwilling to do anything that would interfere with their ambition to retake power so that they can reward their lobbyist friends with more give-aways from the public purse. …

That leaves us facing political gridlock between the sensible but cowardly party and the greedy, sociopathic party.


I've wondered for almost 30 years now about what happened to the Republican Party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and even Nixon and George H.W. Bush as I've watched it morph from a political party that was interested in solving our nations problems into one focused on establishing an American Theocracy. Many of those calling themselves conservatives today don't even know what the word means as it relates to governing. Governing has been replaced with greed, religion, and authoritarianism. I've found that it's almost impossible to have a decent conversation with these people, because as Frank Schaffer notes in his recent post, they have created their own version of reality and have rejected the truth in favor of protecting their religious beliefs. The grownups in the party yielded to the far right long ago. This is why people like Santorum, Bachmann, Walsh, Gingrich, Cain, West, Palin, and others like them have been able to become prominent in the party when they should have been kicked to the curb when they first showed up on the scene. This is a self-inflicted wound, and I have little sympathy for Brooks, Kristol, Krauthammer, or any of the others who knew what was happening but decided to sit on the sidelines cheering the right-wing nuts on as long as they could use them to retain control of the government. They never thought there would ever come a time when they wouldn't be able to control them. That time has come, and now Brooks has the hubris to compare what he saw coming to fascism. The monster has breached the door of the mansion and is clawing at the throats of the inhabitants, and it should be no surprise to the inhabitants because they created and empowered the monster.


They should have started sounding the alarms thirty years ago when St. Ronald of Reagan declared that government was the problem. That should have raised a few red flags not just within the republican party, but in the general electorate. How can anyone vote for a party that is so anti-government running for top government jobs? That is like hiring an auto mechanic who just said in the job interview that the world would be a better place without any cars in it. They have no good intentions for anybody but themselves once in power.


P.M., you are by far the most intelligent writer in America today...and the people who comment on your articles never fail to add excellent thoughts...I learn something everyday. I love this site!


P.M., I agree with SueMe. I discovered this blog via Andrew Sullivan, whom I consider absolutely exceptional, one of the best blogs in the world. I can understand why Andrew puts you on his masthead--your columns are like dashes of jalepeno peppers--they're incredibly sprightly, witty, entertaining, peppered with interesting references without being overly pedantic--they're actually very British in their humor. It's a minimalist, very original blog and I'm glad to have joined it. Congratulations!

Joel Hatch

As long as Mr Ailes at Fox continues to defy reality so will the poor souls who follow his network. The protest front of the party will not turn back after one bad election. They have been taught to ignore reality for the last decade. It will take at least a decade to undo the damage.


Voltaire said, "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." We are there in spades. Ignorance and ill education are a root cause of what we see in the American body politic today.

I've spent quite a bit of time in Europe over the past 40 years and have numerous well educated, intelligent friends there. They can not believe what has happened to the US, especially over the past 12 years.

In the 80's they couldn't understand how Americans could elect a below average IQ, Hollywood "B" actor to the presidency; not just once, but twice. When "W" was elected, my friends were gobsmacked. Now, they have decided that Americans have gone off the deep end. We are definitely in our "Bread & Circus Days."

As a wise wag said a few weeks ago, "The Republican Party is like a shuffled deck of cards. Every once in a while a joker pops up." Trump, Cain, Bachmann, Gingrich, Santorum, Perry...OMG...what hath the American people wrought.

Finally, after many years traveling the world, I've come to believe that people get the governance they deserved. The US is drowning in its just deserts.

Greg M.

P.M--well said. One of my close friends, who worked as a paid staffer on the Obama campaign, describes himself, without irony, as an "Eisenhower Republican"--and I think it's clear that's exactly what Obama is, in the best sense of the word.

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