David Brooks’ column in The New York Times this morning contains several important observations. It would maximize clarity in our political discussions if journalists could just ingest Brooks’ central point: the dominant right-wing political movement in this country that has spawned and driven the Bush presidency has nothing to do with – it is in fact overtly hostile to – the ostensible principles of Goldwater/Reagan small-government conservatism. Though today’s so-called “conservatives” exploit the the Goldwater/Reagan mythology as a political prop, they don’t believe in those principles in any way. That movement is the very antithesis of those principles.
Brooks’ column is behind the Times Select wall, otherwise I would have posted a link to it. He has been on a roll as of late. If I kept a Colbert-esque on-notice list I would have taken him off that list after his piece on Bill Richards last month, only to put him back on after this. Brooks gets the facts right, sees the major issues. And then goes off the rails. Greenwald does a great job of pointing out what Brooks didn’t.
With that said, I talked about this almost a year ago when I noticed the first rumblings that the Conservative wing of the Republican party; which makes up the majority of that party despite not being in the position of setting the agenda; was being dragged off onto tangents by the Neo-Con and Theo-Con wings of the party. What we are seeing now is a growing revolt by the conservatives against an administration that is far removed from their increasingly dissatisfied constituency.