Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Could The GOP Survive The Removal Of David Brooks's "Economic Republicans"?

David Brooks, in a significant article in the New York Times considered the current state of the Republican party and identified what he considered a major structural fault.

Basically, he advises that the Eisenhower GOP was composed of two elements in balance, What Brooks describes as the "economic Republicans and the "traditionalist" Republicans. Brooks considers that the traditionalist element has been completely submerged to the economic element. Thus the party is out of kilter, and has essentially nothing to offer what Romney described as "the 47%". I reproduces Brooks elegant wording below which sets this out in further detail.

A reader responded to my analysis, also included with my overview of Brooks's column, by taking another point of view. He "Pete4Palin" sees the way forward for the GOP  is the defeat or removal of the "economic  conservatives"-here is his concept on what needs to be done.


"A true leader can bridge gaps to achieve common goals as Reagan did. Yet in these times, "economic" conservatives act more like a ruling class establishment and not part of a Republican team. 

Their economic goals have become not really conservative as we knew it and I'm not even talking social issues.  They simply crave power and access. The economy exists for them and that is the reason they want to better it....  with tax payer money of course not theirs.   
There is nothing there to build a bridge on. They need to be either defeated or left behind. What we need is a new era of sudden and relentless reform in Washington on all fronts. This requires a leader like Palin who is not beholden to a political party, but to the end result however it may come."   


That comment is certainly understandable, as I set out further along. However, to win, the Republicans need, barring a major economic catastrophe when any Republican would be elected the full support of the Republican orientated voters. Romney has nearly 90% at this point, according to analysis, but that is not enough to win. 

He needs some Dem crossover votes, more conservative stay at homes to vote and of course more of the vital Independent vote to get a majority. A major internal battle,   subsequent to a Romney loss with the purge of the economic element would be unlikely to attract the switch-able Dem's and Independents, whilst losing the purged "economic" voters.

Whilst no doubt satisfying to the rank and file who have had to swallow a number of centrist candidates, to have such a purge it would be unlikely  unless luck and timing made it so, to bring victory. A "pure" candidate e.g.like  a Goldwater in his time, would certainly get the base fired up, but would lead to the same Electoral College result as Goldwater achieved. 

No, with respect to those who wish revenge on the party elements which have treated Sarah Palin so shabbily, and who have foisted RINO's on the rank and file, a Reagan-ite healer and joiner is required  Hopefully such a candidacy would, in itself, be balm for the very real wounds suffered over the past four years by the rank and file.

Here is the analysis of David Brook's column, it is part of a series of such analysis of major media figures consideration of the path a head for the GOP which is available AT THIS LINK


David Brooks, resident conservative at The New York Times. Brooks examines the state of the GOP


in an article entitled "The Conservative Mind". This is followed by my comments on the comments by Eamon Fingleton, guest contributor at Forbes who wrote an article "Has David Brooks Defined a Turning Point for the Republican Party?' in response to Brooks column.

Brook article is indeed masterful. It begs the unaddressed question which is, if the GOP is fractured then who would be the "new Reagan" to put it back together again. For Brooks it doesn't appear to be Romney.

Here are the salient points from David Brooks;

On the one side, there were the economic conservatives. They upheld freedom as their highest political value. They admired risk-takers. They worried that excessive government would create a sclerotic nation with a dependent populace.
But there was another sort of conservative. This was the traditional conservative. [the] traditionalist wanted to preserve a society that functioned as a harmonious ecosystem,...
 So they were intensely interested in creating the sort of social, economic and political order that would encourage people to work hard, finish school and postpone childbearing until marriage.
      
The economic conservatives were in charge of the daring ventures that produced economic growth. The traditionalists were in charge of establishing the secure base.
Ronald Reagan embodied both sides of this fusion....  
In the polarized political conflict with liberalism, shrinking government has become the organizing conservative principle. Economic conservatives have the money and the institutions. They have taken control.  
Republicans like Romney often rely on an economic language that seems corporate and alien to people who do not define themselves in economic terms. No wonder Romney has trouble relating.  Conservatism has lost the balance between economic and traditional conservatism."

The key comment from Fingleton again begs the same question that arises from Brooks .If the current GOP leadership is non-Reaganite then who would be the "new Reagan" to rejoin both aspects of the Republican  party once again. The healer, visionary and renewer? 

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