Saturday, April 30, 2005

Slick move, Mr. Brooks

Does anyone actually believe that Harry Reid made that secret promise to Frist? With Howard Dean as DNC chairman? Does Brooks think the democratic party is all about unilateral decision making? I think David Brooks here is doing something far, far more sneaky. He is trying to use his clout on the NYtimes op-ed page to make it look like Reid is re-nigging on the 'secret promise' when they actually reach a fair compromise about the filibuster. That way, months from now, he can point back to the article and say "You know what, Frist was right, these demo-gogues should not be trusted." Does he not realize, he still has sometime to go before he becomes Thomas Friedman?

But the times op-ed page is slowly evolving to what I think is quite a strange beast. With Safire out of the picture, its becoming a constant debate about the republican party. Even today's Frank Rich article really does have something interesting to say, and its certainly not what Mr. Rich thinks it is. I must attest that I am slowly moving towards political atheism, the divide now is no longer about issues or even ideology, but about making sure you are the chosen ones who will redeem the earth. Rich thinks the republicans are merely trying to be hip; what he is really revealing is that the party is tearing apart at the seams. South Park insults the Christian Coalition in ways we haven't even begun to understand, regardless of what the libertarians still in the party would want to believe. This party, like any large hegemonic religion, is prone to sectarian tendencies. The Chalcedonian debates have yet to take place, but somewhere in Comedy Central a media-exec is smelling blood. It certainly won't come from the major news networks, which today seem to be reporting about a fantasy realm that is appropriately only 2 channels away from Nickelodean and the Cartoon Network.

I have argued in the past that it will be a split between fiscal conservatives and social conservatives, but I've always wondered about the form it would take. It might be a more cultural split, which in this case means the fiscal conservatives will begin feeling the ire or even restrictions imposed from their church-going buddies. Or it could certainly be one based on self-interest; when the lower middle classes begin realizing that they have been primarily voting for religious issues and failing to monopolize on what the government can do for them. When they realize that ordering drugs from Canada is such a short term solution that you could miss it if you blinked, they'll be hankering for Hillary Clinton's health care plan. Prayer can only go so far to pay the doctor bills, and unlike other religious groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, the evangelicals do not have a good track record in building hospitals.


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