David Brooks, the conservative columnist for the New York Times, looks at the current state of affairs and wants a divorce, or at least a trial separation:
“Can current Republicans change their underlying mentality to adapt to these realities? Intellectual history says no. People almost never change their underlying narratives or unconscious frameworks. Moreover, in the South and rural West, where most Republicans are from, the (belief that government is the problem) has deep historic and psychological roots. Anti-Washington, anti-urban sentiment has characterized those cultures for decades.
It’s probably futile to try to change current Republicans. It’s smarter to build a new wing of the Republican Party, one that can compete in the Northeast, the mid-Atlantic states, in the upper Midwest and along the West Coast. It’s smarter to build a new division that is different the way the Westin is different than the Sheraton.
The second GOP … would be filled with people who recoiled at President Obama’s second Inaugural Address because of its excessive faith in centralized power, but who don’t share the absolute anti-government story of the current GOP.
Would a coastal and Midwestern GOP sit easily with the Southern and Western one? No, but majority parties are usually coalitions of the incompatible. This is really the only chance Republicans have.
The question is: Who’s going to build a second GOP?”
I don’t have an answer for him. Maybe Chris Christie? Somehow, though, I have a feeling this is all going to end up being Barack Obama’s fault.
– Jay Bookman