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Brooks on GOP race: ‘Genuflecting before those who despise them’

From David Brooks column today, venting the frustration of moderate Republicanism:

“…We’ve had a primary campaign that isn’t really an argument about issues. It’s a series of heresy trials in which each of the candidates accuse the others of tribal impurity. Two kinds of candidates emerge from this process: first, those who are forceful but outside the mainstream; second, those who started out mainstream but look weak and unprincipled because they have spent so much time genuflecting before those who despise them.

“Neither is likely to win in the fall. Before the G.O.P. meshugana campaign, independents were leaning toward the G.O.P. But, in the latest Politico/George Washington University Battleground Poll, Obama leads Mitt Romney among independents by 49 percent to 27 percent.”

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Comments (11)

  1. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 02/28/2012 - 04:28 pm.

    Theocrats ‘R Us

    I’ve occasionally agreed with David Brooks in the past, and this provides yet another opportunity to do so. The interminable series of faux “debates,” complete with vicarious finger-pointing and accusations of not being “truly conservative” have seemed more like preparations for a revival of the Inquisition than an exploration of anything resembling real ideas.

    While I’d like to feel comfortable with those poll numbers, the usual bucket of salt is necessary this far from the election, and Mr. Santorum – someone who should easily be able to identify with the Inquisition, having already accused the Protestant majority of the population of having “left” Christianity, “throwing up” over the reality of a genuinely secular nation being built into the Constitution, and chastising the President for subscribing to the “wrong theology” – could easily complicate the race considerably by introducing the Theocratic Party. More and more, ’twould seem that Mr. Santorum represents a sweater vest version of a kind of Catholic Taliban.

  2. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 02/28/2012 - 04:28 pm.

    Not surprising

    Brooks never has been comfortable in his own skin, but he’s one of those folks that need to believe others are comfortable in theirs. He’ll be fine; just give him a little time to adjust to the new room temperature.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 02/28/2012 - 04:50 pm.


      A year from now he’ll be the only Republican left.

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 02/28/2012 - 06:25 pm.

      Brooks isn’t a real republican

      he only plays one on TV. His primary fear is in alienating the Washington cocktail party circuit by sounding as if he empathizes with the great unwashed from flyover-land.

    • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 02/29/2012 - 07:33 am.

      ….just give him a little time to adjust to the new room temperature…

      That’s the old “frog in the pot of water–soon to be boiling” analogy, right?

      Righter than you could imagine.

  3. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 02/28/2012 - 04:51 pm.


    You think either Romney or Santorum knows from meshugana?

  4. Submitted by r batnes on 02/28/2012 - 04:57 pm.

    What’s the “new room temperature”, Thomas?

    fire and brimstone?

  5. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 02/28/2012 - 07:12 pm.

    I don’t get why anyone pays any attention to David Brooks

    I actually sort of agree with Tom’s comment if I understand him correctly. I’m not sure I’d ever believe Brooks cares about anyone feeling comfortable in their own skin. But he’s never been beneath manipulating facts and the truth or ignoring them to make some bland point. I read Brooks’s column twice and can only marvel that this guy is paid 6 figures or more to come up with this drivel.

    But I really like Ray’s comment: “a sweater vest version of a kind of Catholic Taliban.”

  6. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 02/28/2012 - 08:00 pm.

    The conservative right suffers from the delusion that there is an large number of sympathetic voters who will miraculously appear if only they nominate someone who’s ideologically pure and far enough to the right. Apparently they’ve forgotten both the Goldwater and McGovern campaigns.

  7. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 02/29/2012 - 09:46 am.

    Brooks insn’t a Republican?

    A prominent Republican voice complains about ideological purity tests and is promptly declared not to be a Republican. Case closed.

  8. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 02/29/2012 - 11:31 am.

    No one’s a real Republican

    except me and thee,
    and I have my doubts about thee.

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