David Brooks outdoes himself
in today's column. He actually argues that we should reward the GOP's last four years of scorched-earth blackmail by electing Romney - and justifies that by admitting that Romney has no convictions. "He would also observe the core lesson of this campaign: conservatism
loses; moderation wins. Romney’s prospects began to look decent only
when he shifted to the center. A President Romney would look at the way
Tea Party extremism had cost the G.O.P. Senate seats in Delaware and
Nevada — and possibly Missouri and Indiana.To get re-elected in a country with a rising minority population and a
shrinking Republican coalition, Romney’s shape-shifting nature would
induce him to govern as a center-right moderate." And he claims that although "conservatives would be in
uproar. Talk-radio hosts would be the ones accusing him of Romneysia,
forgetting all the promises he made in the primary season. There’d
probably be a primary challenge from the right in 2016," nonetheless "Republicans in Congress would probably go along."
What a ringing endorsement. And what a sad, sad state to come to: arguing that your man would be better for the country because your party will "probably go along" with a hypothetical "shape-shifting" president who would have learned that "moderation wins" and betray his base after he gets into office, while acknowledging that "Republican House members still have more to fear from a primary
challenge from the right than from a general election challenge from the
left" and that therefore whatever Obama wants to do, the votes won't be there.
So, shorter Brooks: my party is such a cesspool of extremism that the only way "big things" (which, by the way, are not progressive things) can get done is by electing Romney, because otherwise only "small-bore stasis" (like, he says, " some new infrastructure programs; more math and science teachers; implementing Obamacare" - you know, little things). Romney will give us "bi-partisan reform" (meaning "tax and entitlement reforms" with some "serious concessions" like "abandon the most draconian spending cuts in
Paul Ryan’s budget; reduce the size of his lavish tax-cut promises"), "Bi-partisan" because the Dems will work with Romney too while the GOP will work with him only, and "reform" because, well, because.
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