That Elusive "Permanent Governing Majority"

In the David Brooks column Jesse Walker flags below, the National Greatness co-creator also tosses off the following interesting line:

It has been interesting to watch [House Republicans] on their single-minded mission to destroy the Republican Party.

A curious accusation coming from a guy who A) warned Republicans (inaccurately) that their failure to nominate John McCain over George W. Bush in 2000 meant that the GOP was "doomed," in dire need of "creative destruction," and that McCain and the country might be better off launching a Teddy Roosevelt-style third party run; and then B) still managed to have a president who mostly heeded his big-government conservatism advice from about Sept. 12, 2001 onward.

It was David Brooks who, five months after the attacks on the World Trade Center, saw a "huge opportunity" to "create a governing Republican majority" through Bush echoing "precisely the aggressive foreign policy and patriotic national service themes that John McCain struck in the 2000 primary season," including "rogue-state rollback," "nation-building," and "a summons to national service." President Bush, Brooks gushed, had finally "broken the libertarian grip on the GOP."

It was Brooks who, on the eve of the 2004 Republican National Convention, performed an endzone dance celebrating "the death of small-government conservatism," arguing that the Republicans "must embrace" a T.R.-tastic "progressive conservatism" if they want "to become the majority party for the next few decades."

And it was David Brooks who, after nearly seven years of a big-government conservatism administration, declared that "official conservatism [has] slipped into decrepitude," to be saved only by a bunch of young writers, especially Ross Douthat and Brooks' former assistant Reihan Salam, who together are hawking a new book about–surprise!–how the GOP can create a governing majority by pandering more effectively to middle class "Sam's Club voters" than the Democrats. "The best single roadmap of where the party should and is likely to head," Brooks enthused. "It may take a few defeats for the G.O.P. to embrace a Sam's Club agenda, but sooner or later, it will happen. Trust me."

So to sum up: The Republican Party has been following David Brooks' advice for more than seven years now, and as a partial result is on the verge of a near-historic ass-whupping. For which David Brooks blames "nihilist" libertarians. Nice work, if you can get it.

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  • The Extispicator||

    David Brook's initials = D.B.

    Douche Bag = D.B.

    Coincidence? I think not. I actually disbelieve that he is a real person. I think he is someone's cleverly devised alter ego, designed to be a caricature/parody.

  • Guy Montag||

    I think he is someone's cleverly devised alter ego, designed to be a caricature/parody.

    Another Lee Seigel sock-puppet perhaps?

  • ||

    It has been interesting to watch [House Republicans] on their single-minded mission to destroy the Republican Party.

    Wait, if the house Republicans are not the Republican party acting like Republicans then who the fuck is the Republican party?

  • ||

    Douche Bag = D.B.

    It's all clear now. But what about Dick Breath? We can't just ignore potential E. T. tie-ins.

  • Guy Montag||

    OT: Gas "shortage"?

    Did I miss the post about this supposed gas shortage across the Southern USA?

    Wondering why fuel trucks are not rolling in from parts of the country with less expensive gas so they can sell it for $10/gallon to stations that can not get any locally.

    My first guess is some sort of government interfearance, but that might just be me.

    Thanks in advance!

  • ||

    How is it that the NYT has the two most laughable "public intellectual" conservatives in existence?

    Hmmmm...I smell a plot!

  • Xmas||

    Joshua,

    The DLC.

  • ||

    Also i imagine that the Sam Club shoppers are really really pissed that republicans torpedoed this bill..


    I imagine them seething with rage!!!

  • Guy Montag||

    This bank run must be just like my informal survey of people who believe Saddam knocked down the Twin Towers. I can not find any evidence of either, but the "experts" keep talking about it like it is real.

  • ||

    Damn, that must have felt good, Matt.

    Go ahead and gloat, right-libertarian GOPers. Your enemy's castle is falling down around his ears.

    Joshua,

    The DLC.


    Oh, SNAP!

  • ||

    Sam's Club agenda. As in, we're gonna spend spend spend! I thought they already got that.

    My opinion is this: they need to get the party firmly back in Jesusland. that's their bread and butter.

  • ||

    What's destroying the Republican Party is their abandonment of the very principles that (briefly) raised their heads in Pelosi's airspace yesterday.

  • The Extispicator||

    True, dat, RC. GOP was at its strongest in 1994-1995 when the dreaded GING-rich spoke of things such as small government.

  • JP||

    Back in the old days, when computers were run by men in white lab coats, I used to pay serious attention to journalists' Pronouncements and Analyses. But the Interweb has made it so easy to get info from people who actually study this stuff for a living, why does anybody pay attention to Brooks and his windbag friends?

  • Guy Montag||

    Don't worry, another Bloomberg term of office will prevent another disaster like this from happening.

  • ||

    If the GOP was strongest when it spoke of small government, why has it completely abandoned those principles, and then gets their asses handed to them in 2006? Are they that stupid that they can't see the relationship? Are they just corrupt scumbags who go back on their rhetoric as soon as they have the majorities? Ahh...Bingo.

  • NeonCat||

    @ Guy

    Here in Atlanta we do indeed have a gas shortage. Most -not some, *most* - stations don't have gas at all. When Ike hit the gulf coast our governor, Sunny Perdue (R) used his emergency powers to prevent price gouging - no jacking up the price to reflect the lack of supply. Also, since Atlanta is smoggy we need specially formulated gas - Sunny was able to convince the EPA to suspend that rule, but we are still short of gas. I was lucky - I was able to fill up Sunday evening with only a twenty minute wait. Other people have had much longer waits. There have been fist-fights with line-breakers.

    So, yes, supply problems at the production facilities exacerbated by government meddling in the markets.

  • ||

    Guys and gals,
    Forget has beens like Brooks.
    Here is the scenario we are facing, McCain wins the election and the democrats steal it.
    What then? What do we do?
    I am not joking, this election could be stolen by the democrats and when they do it, what will be your reaction?
    While you think about it, start stocking up.
    Viva the libertarian militia.

  • J.D. Casten||

    Maybe libertarians should celebrate the "new" big-government Neo-Con GOP being on "the verge of near-historic ass-whuppin?" I've always liked my "right" politics libertarian; can't stand the "'our' family-values exported to foreign locals" bent of many republicans. Libertarians, imo, need to steal back the right.

    That said, beyond being an ideological "sustainability libertarian" with a "radical moderate" political stance, I'm often a nihilist… don't want Uncle Sam with a gun to my head to stop my draft dodge (too late, I served), Or that suited guy from the Monopoly game holding a loaf of bread just out of reach to make me work in his system (although self-employment may require more talent than I have).

    Libertarians are not nihilist; it's just that some of their visions of pure-no-regulation capitalism have not been tested. You see the same thing with left "libertarians" too… lots of guarded and well reasoned theory, bringing to bear and fruition the implications of a few (one?) basic principle(s).

    I'd like to see all government necessities outsourced to semi-employee owned firms (with no income taxes, just some sort of tax on the firms, to run decentralized-democratically determined security nets). I bet I could run with that ball/vision pretty far too.

    Just like some have seen a contest between economics vs. environmentalism (as if renewing energy and recycling and renewing materials was not an economic venture)-I'd like to see the left-right debate line up with economic libertarians on the right vs. environmental sustainers on the left. A real world contest between those advocating life-preservation, conservation, bio-diversity, etc. vs. those hoping (I'd hope) to alleviate both poverty and any form of slavery, through "free minds & free markets."

    Sorry to pontificate… just had to get that off my chest (again).

  • ||

    Well, Officer Terry, I imagine most of them will write statements about their intention to engage in violent activity, and then post their thoughts on the internet.

    Why do you ask?

  • robc||

    Epi,

    Are they that stupid that they can't see the relationship?

    Im assuming this is a rhetorical question.

  • robc||

    Epi,

    Nevermind, I just read to the end of your post. Missed the bingo.

  • ||

    Here is the scenario we are facing, McCain wins the election and the democrats steal it.
    What then? What do we do?
    I am not joking, this election could be stolen by the democrats and when they do it, what will be your reaction?


    Terry, the dems don't need to steal this election. The GOP is going to get it's ass handed to it on a platter.

  • Xmas||

    What's destroying the GOP is the current leadership no longer has the support of the electorate. The House members, being most tied to the whim of their constituencies, chose to relent to the will of the people they represent. Voting 'No' was political survival.

    Pelosi's failure was bashing the Republicans before the vote was taken. The on-the-fence Republicans must have thought, "We can't vote for this unpopular thing AND have the Democrats flog us for it." In every one of their districts, there would be ads showing Pelosi's "Seven...Hundred...Billion..." soundbyte with the scrolling text, "Congressman blahblah voted FOR the bail-out bill THEY forced through Congress."

  • ||

    One word to David Brooks: "Jump!"

  • zoltan||

    Brooks probably thinks Nietzsche is a nihilist too. I hate when people don't understand nihilism.

  • ||

    I am not joking, this election could be stolen by the democrats and when they do it, what will be your reaction?
    While you think about it, start stocking up.


    Well the stealing would have to be similar to Bush's stealing in 2000 with a very close election. so....i will laugh the next 4 years as the dems become vastly unpopular.

    The fact that the democrat majority could not get the bail-out past should be telling you something.

  • ||

    Great stuff, Matt!

    Small budgets, civil liberties, and no war/nation-buiding/intervention. Brooks should be ashamed.

    Easy as 1, 2, 3.

    That is why I won't vote Republican - they are ANATHEMA to Libertarianism.

    I know the Bush Christo-fascists hate folks like me - but... fuck them.

  • ||

    Guy,

    If you bring in gas for $10/gal, they 'll throw your ass in jail for "price gouging" :-) Don't you know it is better that everyone suffer than to let the evil business make money?

    Terry,

    When the Dems actually win the election and the Republicans steal it, what do you think the lefties will do?

  • Don the libertarian Democrat||

    "The Republican Party has been following David Brooks' advice for more than seven years now"

    What more needs to be said about the GOP?

  • ||

    """"Terry, the dems don't need to steal this election. The GOP is going to get it's ass handed to it on a platter""""

    I've been saying that too, but I've backed off since the republicans stand to gain if they stand against the bailout.

    As a democrat, I would vote for a republican that votes against the bailout before I would a democrat that voted for it.

    """"The fact that the democrat majority could not get the bail-out past should be telling you something."""

    It does. It tells me you think the dems have a greater majority than they really do.

  • ||

    I'm guessing that David likes to go in for a good old fashioned trampling when the going gets tough in these times, just to get the kinks outs.

  • ||

    But more importantly it shows how unpopular the bailout is with the citizenry.

  • rhywun||

    Viva the libertarian militia



    And it's going to fight to get McCain elected?! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

  • mike farmer||

    Everytime I see Brooks on TV, he looks like he just did something naughty and is hoping no one saw him. Very nervous fella.

  • ||

    The Republican party will split into two parties. One party will be the libertarian, small government conservatives. The second party will be rosy cheeked comb-over guys who wear pink shirts somehow annoy people more than Tom Friedman. The first party will retain the "Republican" and "GOP" monikers.

  • ||

    the Bush Christo-fascists

    I'm puzzled by this terminology, as I'm puzzled by the hatred directed at Palin for being a "fundy loon."

    I'm puzzled because I really can't see anything that either of them has actually done (with one possible exception) that involves the imposition of their brand of Christianity using their power as a state official or the mechanisms of the state.

    The Repubs talk a good game to the Christian Right, but what have they done to deliver much of anything?

    About the only thing I can think of is the various bills and constitutional amendments opposed to gay marriage. Anything else?

  • ||

    While you think about it, start stocking up.
    Viva the libertarian militia.


    Wow. Just.. wow.

  • ||

    Two parties are easily enough.

    There should be "Labor" Party (Dems) and the Liberal Party (Libertarian).

    The wild card in the US is the "fundie" component (Christo-Fascists) who do not exist in large numbers in other modern democracies. If they do, they are concealed in parliament.

    Here, they corrupt the Liberal Party (GOP, or Libertarian Party) into a warped, worthless party where personal liberty is shelved for a type of theocracy.

  • ||

    I know the Bush Christo-fascists hate folks like me

    Fascists? Really? Come on.

  • ||

    Puh-lease. The GOP is as much doomed as the Democrats were several times in my lifetime already. For the foreseeable future, there can't be one without the other. Once one gets in power and does the usual stupid dance, the other looks more appealing. And so it goes, on and on. I won't even discuss the lack of real distinction between the parties when in power, other than their unfulfilled rhetoric.

    Just heard that Bloomberg is going to run for a third term, despite term limits. Asshole.

  • ||

    Just heard that Bloomberg is going to run for a third term, despite term limits. Asshole.

    WHAAAAAT?!? How the fuck can he do that?

  • DS||

    Q: What do liberals give you that conservatives don't?

    A: A reach-around.

  • ||

    About the only thing I can think of is the various bills and constitutional amendments opposed to gay marriage. Anything else?

    Fair enough. I'll list a few.

    Opposition to:

    Internet gaming
    Contraception/abortion
    Free Stem Cell research
    Euthanasia
    Science education only in lieu of myth
    Unfettered Free Speech (see Larry Flynt)
    Forced school prayer in public school prohibition
    Recreational drug use for adults.
    Community activism/parades
    Minority rights

    Face it, the culture wars define MANY Americans -- NOT so much here - as this site is comprised mostly of liberal/libertarian types.

    But many in flyover land vote mainly on these issues.

  • David Brooks (in Great Blue Gh||

    ...and I would've gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling libertarians!

  • Naga Sadow||

    What? Bloomberg's pulling an FDR?

  • Naga Sadow||

    Left myself open with that comment. I'm aware that there were no term limits for presidents at the time. Simply a phrase.

  • rhywun||

    Bloomberg's pulling an FDR?



    Except it was legal when FDR did it.

  • rhywun||

    I really can't see anything that either of them has actually done ... that involves the imposition of their brand of Christianity using their power as a state official or the mechanisms of the state.



    Faith-based initiatives?

    But yeah, most of the stuff that ilk has done is merely symbolic, like "In God We Trust" and "One Nation Under God". Nevertheless, I think it's important to oppose them at every turn--they are opposed to freedom.

  • cunnivore||

    To be precise, Bloomberg's pulling a Putin (in a totally non-sexual sense).

  • rhywun||

    Left myself open with that comment.



    Heh, OK. But seriously, NY voters have supported term limits on city offices twice now. Enough already.

  • ||

    I would assume that Bloomberg will attempt to repeal the term limits, then run for office. He'll lobby for the former by saying that New York can't play second fiddle to Chicago in the perpetual rule department. Once the term limits are thrown out, he will take the sandtrout as his skin and rule New York for the next 3,500 years as its God Mayor.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Sandtrout as his skin? I'm intrigued. Is it like Gozer from Ghostbusters?

  • Naga Sadow||

    Ah! Dune. I apologize for my ignorance.

  • ||

    Gods below, Naga, what the hell is wrong with you? Gozer the Gozarian? May the Tyrant forgive you.

  • Naga Sadow||

    I've been busy the last few days Pro Lib. All work and no play makes Naga a dull boy! Bwahahahah!

    *grins maniacally*

  • ||

    Shrike, you were just tearing it up, until you got to this trozo de caca:

    Community activism/parades

    And you almost made it through a cogent, moderately lucid statement. Well, keep working!

  • ||

    Unfettered Free Speech (see Larry Flynt)

    Remind me again what the other half of that one bill is commonly called? McCain....McCain- somethin'.

    Recreational drug use for adults.

    This is also bipartisan assholery.

    Community activism/parades

    Uh...didn't know this was a big deal to Republicans.

    Minority rights

    I've seen no significant rollback (outside of the gay marriage ban issue) from Republicans on this issue.

    Basically, shrike, it's not that they don't like people like you: they just don't care, because you're not coherent.

  • ||

    One problem I observe in partisans of either major party is that they tend to believe most of the rhetoric. Of their party and the opposition. Since it's 95% bullshit that never gets acted on, I am constantly amazed that anyone gives it the least credence. If it were true, the years of GOP control should've resulted in Creationism and prayers in schools, abortion bans, etc., etc. They controlled all three branches, so they might've gotten away with some of that. Why didn't it happen? Because the GOP really doesn't mean what it says, any more than the Democrats do.

  • ||

    I realize that "libertarianism" merely equates to a measly one % point income tax cut to many of you - but believe me, some of us have a more expansive view of "liberty".

    Go ahead and vote Christo-fascist - I don't care.

    I merely love to remind you Bushpigs that "freedom" is more than swilling the Jesus-juice on command.

    I enjoy this role - I speak for many of the UN-politically correct.

    Oh - and I can't wait for LPer Bill Maher's 'Religilous'....

    I know - you don't like Maher either -- he doesn't bow to the GOP.....

  • ||

    Turns out the American people aren't fans of endless war and skyrocketing deficits. Go figure.

    The Democrats are the ones who could capture a permanent governing majority, if they would only give up their socialist tendencies and start to roll back government spending, even a little (5% a year perhaps?) Judging from the Obama campaign, they haven't figured that out yet.

  • Jason||

    Nihilists? Fuck... say what you like about the tenets of National [Greatness Conservatism], at least it's an ethos.

  • Xmas||

    Craig,

    Roll back government spending? Democrats? That would require them saying no to government worker unions, teenager mothers and old people. 't'ain't gonna happen.

    -OR-

    Roll back government spending? Republicans? That would require them saying no to warplane makers, farmers and old people. 't'ain't gonna happen.

  • ||

    I merely love to remind you Bushpigs that "freedom" is more than swilling the Jesus-juice on command.

    If you're calling us "Bushpigs" you are really are too stupid for words. Forget being committed to "science" and "reason" like you're always touting; you just need to be fucking committed.

  • will||

    Damn, shrike's been hitting the meth again.

  • economist||

    I don't like Bill Maher because he's a poser. If you want to be a leftist, that's fine, but don't call yourself a libertarian.

  • ||

    I don't like the anti-personal freedom stance of the Republican Party.

    Neither does Maher.

    And I don't do meth - I will roll every now and then.

    What is the problem with you faggots? I am LP - I just don't like Republican assholes telling me how to live.

  • ||

    I don't like Bill Maher because he's a poser. If you want to be a leftist, that's fine, but don't call yourself a libertarian.

    Because you are a nutless GOP boy who would call the stormtroopers in on a "leftist" like me or Maher.

  • ||

    I don't like the anti-freedom stance of EITHER party.

    One of the best things about libertarians is that we can usually piss on both parties (although one more than the other when appropriate) - you seem to want to take that privilege away with your pseudo-partisan snipes.

  • ||

    Because you are a nutless GOP boy who would call the stormtroopers in on a "leftist" like me or Maher.

    Dude. Shut up. You have *no* idea what you're talking about.

    So, anyone who doesn't think that Maher is a libertarian must be a righty-fascist-stormtrooper-lover? Get some meds.

  • ||

    No, its because he would not ALLOW Maher to call himself a libertarian.

    Obviously, for a party with low single digit participation, the bar is just too high for someone like Maher to hurdle despite his popularity.

    But I know the REAL reason -- Maher hates the jackbooted right-wingers.

    So you fucking hate him!

    Eat shit - you Gingrich/Hannity types are on the ropes close to political death.

    And we will ALL be better for it.

  • Franklin Harris||

    This thread has gotten off topic. Please return to discussing what a clueless douchebag David Brooks is.

  • ||

    Has anyone ever seen David Brooks and shrike in the same place at the same time?

  • Bingo||

    Shut the fuck up, shrike, your arguments aren't based in reality.

  • Czar||

    Roll back government spending? Democrats? That would require them saying no to government worker unions, teenager mothers and old people. 't'ain't gonna happen.

    -OR-

    Roll back government spending? Republicans? That would require them saying no to warplane makers, farmers and old people. 't'ain't gonna happen.


    Old people ruin everything.

  • Nike Dunk High||

    thanks

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