The Corner

Re: Brooks

I’m a little puzzled by the pile-on against his column today. I think partly it’s because of other things he has written; and partly it is because when he talks about “epic” and “gigantic” legislation, people assume he means a lot more government. But of the five examples he gives, only one, financial regulation (where I think he is mostly wrong) necessarily involves increased government intervention. Free-market health-care legislation would be “epic” in the same way that Kemp-Roth or welfare reform was. Brooks defines the energy problem as a “shortage,” which seems tailor-made for free-market solutions. I don’t doubt that Brooks is friendlier to government intervention than I am, but I also don’t think this column was a plea for the abandonment of conservatism.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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