The Corner

The Ponnuru-Brooks Theorem

There is something to the David Brooks argument the other day about the culture wars being sublimated into “the presidency wars.” How do I know? Because I read it in a Ramesh piece first. Here is a bit from Ramesh’s recent counter-Bush-hating piece from The New Republic:

“At the end of the day, though, the antipathy toward Bush seems largely cultural. Here, too, the parallel with the Clinton haters suggests itself. Clinton was a liberal boomer elitist to his enemies: a Yale know-it-all. Bush, to his, is a Yale know-nothing. Bush may have no zest for the culture war himself–his signature issue is the warm-and-fuzzy faith-based initiative, not a call to ban abortions–but he can hardly help being one of its objects. The reason Bush does not engage in the culture war, after all, is precisely that the country’s cultural division cuts so deeply that it does not pay to do so. Bush is red-state America for his critics. He is narrow-minded, materialistic, provincial, backward, agnostic only about evolution: All the things they wish the country could leave behind. In an age when politics remains a matter of identity and affinity, being against Bush–or for him–is culture war by other means.”


The Latest