David Brooks on Republican “fanaticism”: not “normal,” “not fit to govern”


    Finally, a sane, serious Republican (the kind that used to fill this party – Weicker, Dole, Javits, Ford, Jeffords, Weld, Whitman, Meskill, Kassebaum, Holton, Chichester, Boehlert, etc. – calls out the warped, perverted, Frankenstein’s monster hybrid  — part John Birch Society, part Dixiecrat, part neoconservative, part Moral Majority, part National Front – that the current Republican Party has mutated into. Thank you, David Brooks!

    …the Republican Party may no longer be a normal party. Over the past few years, it has been infected by a faction that is more of a psychological protest than a practical, governing alternative.

    The members of this movement do not accept the logic of compromise, no matter how sweet the terms…

    The members of this movement do not accept the legitimacy of scholars and intellectual authorities

    The members of this movement have no sense of moral decency

    The members of this movement have no economic theory worthy of the name

    That about sums it all up, and it’s not like it takes a genius to figure it out. The question is, why aren’t more sane Republicans speaking out against the beady-eyed extremists who have taken over the once-great Party of Lincoln, Party of Teddy Roosevelt, Party of Dwight Eisenhower, and heck even Party of Reagan (who, today, would be on the far left fringes among the Republican House, Senate, or 2012 Presidential contenders not named “Huntsman” or possibly “Romney”)?

    My guess is, they’re a combination of: a) afraid to do so; and b) hoping they can channel the energy of the fanatic “tea partiers” without losing control of their party. But now, sane Republicans like David Brooks are seeing clearly what we’ve seen for a long time – this is simply not possible. Just to demonstrate how untameable those folks in the funny costumes are, check out this article, which describes how even the current crop of hard-as-hard-can-get right wingnut Republicans isn’t right wing enough for the tea partiers. Among these people, it’s all absolutes, black and white, essentially theological belief in whatever it is they believe (government is inherently bad; taxes are evil; giving money to rich people and corporations is fine, but progressive taxation is communist/socialist; President Obama is a Kenyan anti-colonialist/apologist for TheGreatestNationEverOnTheFaceOfTheEarth, etc., etc.) – no compromise, ever.

    In the end, what David Brooks is essentially asking is, can we have a functioning Democracy with one party controlled by people who are this crazy, this fanatic, this absolutist? Short answer: no. Longer answer: absolutely not. The question is, when will responsible Republicans – are there any left?!? – decide that country comes before party, even if it means they lose an election or two in the process (but in the end, save themselves – and the rest of us – from disaster)? Hello, John Boehner? Hello, Eric Cantor? Do you guys read David Brooks? Do you have the slightest clue what you’re doing?

    • glennbear

      But it will be summarily dismissed since it is from the NYT aka liberal rag. I once again offer my comment from a couple weeks ago which gives a resource to help understand the right wing whacko mindset:

      Speaking of Psychology………. (0.00 / 0)

      For those who cannot understand the conservative mindset a Canadian college professor published a work a while back studying the authoritarian mindset which is quite common with  conservatives. The book is available as a free download here along with some other writings regarding the 2008 election and the tea party movement:


      The author also has a discussion forum/blog on his site and it  is somewhat amusing to see the right wing responses to his book

    • Elaine in Roanoke

      In times of serious upheaval, especially economic upheaval, it is far too easy for demagogues and power-hungry people to gain political power. The fact that reasonable, intelligent voices in the Republican party have been driven out and replaced by those who are guided by prejudice, self-interest, and a desire for power is one of the most serious threats to our representative democracy since that fear-driven witch hunt for “communists” at every level of government during the early 1950’s.

      This threat has been aided and abetted by a Supreme Court that, first, chose to elect a president in 2000 by a 5-4 vote, then added insult to injury by legalizing the corrupt purchase of legislators by the most reactionary people of wealth in our nation. Meanwhile, the media has become simply a vehicle for gossip, innuendo, and bombastic bloviators.

      If the GOPers who have taken control of that party were actually conservative, they would by fighting against the concentration of power, both economic and political, that has occurred over the past few decades in this nation. Instead, they have allowed the inmates to take over the asylum. (I need point no farther than the fact that someone like Michelle Bachman can be treated as a serious candidate for president.)  

    • commentator1

      Check out this article from the Washington Post. More and more people are seeing the light:


    • kindler

      The fact that Brooks included some genuine fighting words here — no moral decency? Ouch! — is quite telling.  Brooks is a thoughtful guy and there’s no room for thought left in today’s Republican party. Summon the Thought Police!

      But what I really don’t fully understand is how such a group of raging fanatics as the tea party managed to so overwhelmingly win last year’s election.  I hope it was a fluke, where independents pissed off over the economy supported them without fully understanding who they were voting for (while the Dems and the media completely failed in getting the truth out — shocker).  We need to do everything in our power to prevent these lunatics from winning again.