Brooks and Ryan Debate Role of Government

David Brooks, the sort of conservative columnist from the Times, rightly points out that the belief that liberals have pushed the country into a new, extra-constitutional socialism drives the philosophical divide. But Brooks disputes the premise.

And my problem with the Republican Party right now, including Paul, is that if you offered them 80-20, they say no. If you offered them 90-10, they'd say no. If you offered them 99-1 they'd say no. And that's because we've substituted governance for brokerism, for rigidity that Ronald Regan didn't have.

Brooks continues:

And to me, this rigidity comes from this polarizing world view that they’re a bunch of socialists over there. You know, again, I’ve spent a lot of time with the president. I’ve spent a lot of time with the people around him. They’re liberals! … But they’re not idiots. And they’re not Europeans, and they don’t want to be a European welfare state. … It’s American liberalism, and it’s not inflexible.

The time Brooks has invested absorbing the true nature of our leftist leaders misses the point. The individuals involved are ultimately of no consequence. It is their actions that matter, and when examining legislation like the health reform law, there is no way to reconcile them with our constitution or the fundamental notions of what our society is supposed to be.

The Brooks cut comes from a debate he had with GOP Congressman Paul Ryan this week at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, where Ryan pointed out his concern over what is changing about America - especially for his own children.

There is nothing more dispiriting than to think that they won’t be able to chase their dreams because of the decisions that we make or fail to make right now. There is nothing that disturbs me more in this debate than to think of my kids coming into a country and a society where they’re more likely to be dependent on the government for their future than they are upon themselves.

Conservatives can now plainly see that Republicans have compromised away the premise of America. A hard line is needed to pull it back, before it is too late.