Tuesday, January 29, 2008
It's interesting to me that Jonah's book has generated a great deal of heat in the blogosphere, whereas _Comeback_ by his NRO colleague David Frum has largely flown below radar.
To me, _Comeback_ is a more topical book and probably better written besides. It is about the current misfortunes of the current GOP and conservative movement and what is required to turn them around. Frum's most important contribution is his insistence on describing the lay of the land. Intellectually and politically, the Republican party and the conservative movement are losing. Which is to emphasize that it's incorrect to suppose that they're winning, or that they've lost.
Once we understand that this is where we are, we'll be in a better position to get where we want to go. Terrorism, immigration, health care, and energy have a much higher profile now than in Reagan's time. If we want to be taken seriously by today's voters, we have to talk about today's issues. This is especially important with respect to something like health care. Even if, especially if, we are forced to argue that the sort of the cheap, adequate, collective, universal-like
health care desired by the popular imagination doesn't in reality exist, we still have to play it straight. If we just rail on about how we don't like socialized medicine, it only sounds like we're not paying attention.