David Brooks on Republicans

David Brooks, New York Times

David Brooks is one of my favorite commentators. So often he gets things right – at least in my opinion.

Again today, he’s written something that resonates – The Possum Republicans.

He offers some perspective on why the Republican party behaves as it is doing. While everyone on the right profess to want to defeat President Obama, day-to-day behavior seems determined to ensure that does not happen.

I can’t begin to do his writing justice, so I will offer a few telling quotes:

Republicans on the extreme ferociously attack their fellow party members… Republicans on the extreme are willing to lose elections in order to promote their principles. Those in the mainstream are quick to fudge their principles if it will help them get a short-term win…

In the 1960s and ’70s, the fight was between conservatives and moderates. Conservatives trounced the moderates and have driven them from the party. These days the fight is between the protesters and the professionals…

Without real opposition, the wingers go from strength to strength. Under their influence, 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.

I like that last bit – ‘heresy trials’. Sure feels that way.

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