The Corner

Brooks to Collins: What Am I?

Over at the New York Times, David Brooks and Gail Collins have an interesting conversation (well, I thought Brooks’s piece was interesting for the questions it raises) about partisanship and the two-party system. I think that Brooks’s anxiety about where he belongs politically is more common than the Democrats or the Republicans wished to acknowledge. He writes:

You said something about how badly my guys, the Republicans, have been behaving during this whole health care thing.

It made me wonder, are they really my guys? Do I have guys anymore?

Certainly in childhood I felt a strong affinity for the Democrats. Everybody I knew was one. The Democrats were obviously forces for justice and morality. Then sometime in adulthood I did come to naturally assume that the Republicans were the vehicles for the things I thought were best.

But you never know the workings of your own mind until you get an unexpected cold blast from somewhere deep inside. The thought that I’m part of the G.O.P.’s fan base sent such a blast, though it’s complicated.

My understanding is that while Brooks has always appreciated the idea of individual choice, he has always been suspicious of individualism and the end of mainstream America (the existence of one unique model that defines what it is to an American). He has always been more of an Eisenhower Republican than early National Review people were, for instance. I would be interested in your insights on this issue.

Veronique de Rugy is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

Most Popular

Elections

An Election Too Important to Be Left to Voters

The Democrats believe that the 2020 election is too important to be left to the voters. It’s obvious that President Donald Trump withheld defense aid to Ukraine to pressure its president to commit to the investigations that he wanted, an improper use of his power that should rightly be the focus of ... Read More
Elections

An Election Too Important to Be Left to Voters

The Democrats believe that the 2020 election is too important to be left to the voters. It’s obvious that President Donald Trump withheld defense aid to Ukraine to pressure its president to commit to the investigations that he wanted, an improper use of his power that should rightly be the focus of ... Read More
Elections

It’s Not Because She’s a Woman

In early October, Elizabeth Warren hit her stride. Her stock in the Democratic primary had been climbing steadily since midsummer, and as Joe Biden continued to lag, the Massachusetts senator became the first presidential hopeful to overtake him as front-runner in the RealClearPolitics polling average. She’s ... Read More
Elections

It’s Not Because She’s a Woman

In early October, Elizabeth Warren hit her stride. Her stock in the Democratic primary had been climbing steadily since midsummer, and as Joe Biden continued to lag, the Massachusetts senator became the first presidential hopeful to overtake him as front-runner in the RealClearPolitics polling average. She’s ... Read More
Film & TV

Clint Eastwood’s Messy, Nuanced Triumph

After a pipe bomb exploded at a concert held to celebrate the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta’s Centennial Park, the FBI came to suspect that the security guard who discovered the device might have planted it to gain a reputation as a hero. The knotty story of that security guard, Richard Jewell, does not lend itself ... Read More
Film & TV

Clint Eastwood’s Messy, Nuanced Triumph

After a pipe bomb exploded at a concert held to celebrate the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta’s Centennial Park, the FBI came to suspect that the security guard who discovered the device might have planted it to gain a reputation as a hero. The knotty story of that security guard, Richard Jewell, does not lend itself ... Read More
Film & TV

A Feeble Fox News Attack at the Movies

Don’t hold your breath waiting for Oscar-winning talents to rip the lid off the scandal at NBC News, whose bosses still have suffered no repercussions for their part in the Harvey Weinstein matter and other sleazy deeds — but at least Hollywood has finally let us know how they feel about Fox News ... Read More
Film & TV

A Feeble Fox News Attack at the Movies

Don’t hold your breath waiting for Oscar-winning talents to rip the lid off the scandal at NBC News, whose bosses still have suffered no repercussions for their part in the Harvey Weinstein matter and other sleazy deeds — but at least Hollywood has finally let us know how they feel about Fox News ... Read More