The Corner

Clear as Mud

An odd post by Greg Sargent at Tapped:

Not to sound hopelessly naive, but it’s still surprising to those of us far away from D.C. when conservatives, even as they’re calling for more ethical behavior, don’t even bother to disguise the fact that it’s all about winning. As David Brooks put it yesterday in a passage that attracted surprisingly little attention:

Republicans need to steal David Obey and Barney Frank’s lobbying-reform ideas. For some insane reason, having to do with their own special interests, Democrats have been slow to trumpet the ideas coming from their own party. Republicans have a chance to hijack them before the country notices. (emphasis added)

So the GOP should pursue its newfound emphasis on ethics by “stealing” and “hijacking” ideas “before the country notices.” It doesn’t get any clearer than that, does it?

I guess I need it spelled out for me. What, exactly, is Sargent’s complaint? That Brooks is suggesting that GOP operatives adopt reform because it would be good for the party and nothing else? Surely, he can’t be complaining — at Tapped of all places — that someone make tactical arguments about how to win elections? Or is he seriously arguing that the metaphorical theft and hijacking Brooks suggests are in some ethical way analogous to real theft?

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