The Corner

Yes, But Victor Still Owes Me

All day I’ve been planning to jot down at least a brief reply to David Brooks.

“Obama,” David correctly argues in today’s New York Times, “has a much more liberal profile than he did several weeks ago….Traditional Republicans can beat liberal Democrats when the Republican brand is in healthy shape. That is not the case now.” This suggests that John McCain should clarify the Republican brand, right? Unmuddy things by stating forthrightly that he stands for smaller government, lower taxes, and peace through strength? Don’t be silly. “The upshot,” David concludes in a really extravagant non sequitur, “is that McCain will have no choice but to run an untraditional campaign. Anything that smacks of traditional Republican tactics or philosophy will go down in flames.”

As I say, I’d been planning to reply. But looking over the Corner just now, I saw that Victor Davis Hanson beat me to it. “On this great debate,” Victor writes, “I tend to agree with Mark Levin and others that conservatives should reach out with conservative principles better framed and presented, rather than change the message for the perceived advantage of the hour.

“What the Republicans need is not an abandonment of conservative principles, but a smarter, more articulate defense of even more conservativism, not less.”

There’s just one thing I don’t understand. How can Victor prove so prescient and compelling–but still owe me five bucks?

Peter Robinson — Peter M. Robinson is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution.

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