Wednesday, October 12, 2005

David Brooks on Why Conservatives Oppose Miers

With the White House being unlikely to provide any documents written by Harriet Miers writen while working for the President she considers the most intelligent man she ever met, we are limited to reviewing her older writings. David Brooks provides some examples and argues that “nothing excuses sentences like this:”

“More and more, the intractable problems in our society have one answer: broad-based intolerance of unacceptable conditions and a commitment by many to fix problems.”

Or this: “We must end collective acceptance of inappropriate conduct and increase education in professionalism.”

Or this: “When consensus of diverse leadership can be achieved on issues of importance, the greatest impact can be achieved.”

Brooks provides further examples but is unsure if this is enough. “I don’t know if by mere quotation I can fully convey the relentless march of vapid abstractions that mark Miers’s prose. Nearly every idea is vague and depersonalized. Nearly every debatable point is elided.”

We may not agree with conservative intellectuals, but we can feel their pain. They are in the same situation we are in when liberal views are misrepresented by the likes of the KosKlownKids. Whether or not we agree with them, there is a distinct difference between the conservative thinkers and those who run the Republican Party. Brooks explains this well:

The conservative movement was founded upon the supposition that ideas have consequences. Conservatives have founded so many think tanks, magazines and organizations, like the Federalist Society, because they believe that you have to win arguments to win political power. They dream of Supreme Court justices capable of writing brilliant opinions that will reshape the battle of ideas.

Republicans, who these days are as likely to be members of the corporate establishment as the evangelical establishment, are more suspicious of intellectuals and ideas, and more likely to believe that politics is about deal-making, loyalty and power. You know you are in establishment Republican circles when the conversation is bland but unifying. You know you are in conservative circles when it is interesting but divisive. Conservatives err by becoming irresponsible. Republicans tend to be blown about haplessly by forces they cannot understand.

Brooks has often spread the Republican talking points which try to prevent exposure to Democratic ideas by falsely claiming Democratics have none. Finally he is catching on to the truth. It is the Republican Party which has abandoned ideas for power and greed.


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