Monday, November 03, 2008

David Brooks defines Republican Woes

I was rather impressed with David Brooks discussion of the current presidential campaign and the future of the Republican Party on Charlie Rose Friday night. I might have written over the weekend, but was not willing to stay up late enough. So, since my PBS station rebroadcast Rose at noon the following weekday, I watched while eating lunch.

In an era of Sean Hannity (whom he dissed), Rush Limbaugh and their ilk, Brooks is a breath of fresh air even if I don't agree with his political philosophy. He is willing to be intellectually honest and that is rare today. Follow the Read more! link and I will explain.

There are two things that I Brooks talked about that I think we need to consider. One is that neither McCain nor Obama were able to establish a narrative for America's future. McCain relied too much on his personal narrative and that really ended when he checked out of the Hanoi Hilton. Obama started to campaign that way, but sometime, somewhere, he must have listened to those who said we want to hear about policy and turned into powerpoint presentation of himself. Brooks was looking for something that captured this moment in in the broad arc of American History and constructed wrote an appropriate ending. Neither he nor I have heard that.

The other is that the Reublican Party has to decide what it wants to be... a small government party or a joe sixpack club. The latter implies a certain disdain for education, articulate comment and all of the other things that Brooks is noted for. Instead, he mentions the manner in which the Republicans have abandoned the Northeast and the West Coast. Just look at the stalwart Republican that have left, or are show other tendencies. Pete McCloskey from here in California. Senator Lincoln Chaffee of Rhode Island, Congressman Wayne Gilchrest from Maryland.

We need candidates who have the narrative to fill those voids.

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