Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Some Suggestions for the Republican Party

For the third day in a row, Republicans in the House of Representatives have continued on with their protest of being shut out of the energy policy legislative process and Speaker Pelosi calling adjournment of the business of Congress for a five week recess. Well, she has a book tour to do, you know.

Oh, yeah. The Speaker has privately told the Dems they can support offshore drilling if it'll help re-election.

And the heckling of the McCain campaign for using Paris Hilton in an ad mocking Obama's Chosen One position? Seems Obama himself referenced his popularity and coverage by the press using her as an example back in February, 2005 to the Washington Post. Oh.

Today I listened to a speech given by David Brooks at the Young America's Foundation assembly in D.C. He described the President, McCain and Obama using firsthand knowledge of all three from interviewing them. He is currently a token conservative columnist for The New York Times.

Brooks says Bush is easy to be around, a likable guy without pretensions and enjoys listening to everyone, even those who oppose his ideas. He looks forward into the future, like 50 years into the future and what the world will be best served by then. This forward thinking was the reason of his Iraq policy, particularly after 9/11.

He said McCain is always moving, doesn't sit still and has people around him all day long. He is a real people person. His greatest skill is when he sees dishonor in the form of dishonoring the American people or abuse by politicians he will go after it. He has a proven track record of fighting corruption in both parties. He has a true humility about himself. He is about others, not himself. And, he refuses to use his own family to boost his candidacy. Especially his children.

Obama was interviewed by Brooks before he became the Messiah, as Brooks characterized the time frame. He likes Obama, as he does the other two men, and thinks perceptiveness about others is Obama's strong suit. His weakness is the fact that he is the least accomplished Presidential candidate in 100 years and lacks knowledge of how to pull the levers of government to get his policies put into place. He will have to take unpopular stands with his party to accomplish much and that will be most difficult for him. He's all about everyone liking him.

Brooks sees conservatives in crisis. He said conservatives are too wedded to Reagan. That the world has changed and government is not getting smaller. There is a decline in conservative intellectual power, no serious policy books being written by conservatives. Republicans have adopted to power and not exploring new ideas. The idea people are politicized in both parties. He sees the answer to the problem being solved by the young people coming up in the party - the under 30 year olds.

The Republican party was built by white, working class people. The party has lost a large percent of this group as the party has been in power. The original conservative movement of the 30's, 40's, and 50's came about from the fact that Republicans weren't in power and free to put new ideas into play. Liberalism was born of a governmental and policy movement.

Change comes from the bottom up and that is why I am concentrating on working for campaigns at the state level. Presidential candidates don't just happen overnight.

Obama is a product of political expediency. He joined the Chicago church that Michelle and her family belonged to and used it for his local political ambitions. As Brooks mentioned (a native of Chicago's Hyde Park himself and politically liberal until in his twenties) Obama is a product of Princeton and Harvard and the south side of Chicago. He never really was a part of any community though he used them as spring boards to the next office. Brooks doesn't think Obama believes the hateful garbage that comes from Rev. Wright's mouth, but he used the church and its large political congregation to go into politics after his community organizing days were finished. This is why Obama has so very little to point to as any sort of achievement in community work or politics - he only stays long enough to move on to the next level.

Tim Pawlenty, the governor of Minnesota and mentioned VP candidate for McCain, has coined a term "Sam's Club Republicans" and the need to get back to the regular guy out there. The voters that built the party in the first place. The need is there to act like we have no power, which may be the truth in the very near future.

Brooks uses the example of Alexander Hamilton who believed in capitalism and using government to give people tools to succeed. As did Teddy Roosevelt.

Also, Brooks recommended a book on my to-read list: Grand New Party written by two young men of bi-partisan status. It speaks to how the Republican party can get back to working class roots and win elections. I'm looking forward to reading it. I hope everyone will that is interested in the Republican party.


Z said...

Brooks is a real flimsy conservative, but I sure do like what he said about mcCain. Frankly, it surprised me.

And, personally, I'm hoping McCain DOES talk about his family, or at least have them around from time to time. Republicans seem to love to hide their lights under bushels. What's WRONG with showing a family like his; it's not like he adopted them during this candidacy, for purposes of impressing anybody.

Good piece again, Karen..thanks.

Incognito said...

Interesting stuff Brooks says about all 3 candidates... particularly Obama.. although I think Obama has probably changed since he has bought into the hype. And he could be right about using everything and everyone for political expediency, but it just shows how untrustworthy he is.

As for Pelosi closing shop. I just posted something a Tampa Bay talk radio host recommends to do. It's kind of fun.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

He said conservatives are too wedded to Reagan.

I think Republicans are also aching for change, like the Dems, as if we need DRASTIC change. We don't. It's an illusion. People have a natural inclination to believe that things are worse than they actually are; that our grandparents somehow had it better, living in some romanticized, fictional golden age of innocence.

As great as Reagan is, we stand in danger of deifying him, and building false romanticized memories of his presidency.