Oh I took stalkerazzi pics at both conventions, but the one person I made a point to strike up a conversation and get a legitimate picture with? Mr. David Brooks. I find his sensibly reasonable pragmatism electric. Somehow I trust those who I feel call it like they see it over how they think people think they should see it. Which is why his recent column about Palin not being ready to be president didn't strike me as particularly counter-conservative, just his honest assessment.
Yesterday however, Brooks extended that thesis, in decidedly stronger terms. At the launch of the Atlantic's new look, Brooks said that Palin:
Represents a fatal cancer to the Republican party. When I first started in journalism, I worked at the National Review for Bill Buckley. And Buckley famously said he'd rather be ruled by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phone book than by the Harvard faculty. But he didn't think those were the only two options. He thought it was important to have people on the conservative side who celebrated ideas, who celebrated learning. And his whole life was based on that, and that was also true for a lot of the other conservatives in the Reagan era. Reagan had an immense faith in the power of ideas. But there has been a counter, more populist tradition, which is not only to scorn liberal ideas but to scorn ideas entirely. And I'm afraid that Sarah Palin has those prejudices. I think President Bush has those prejudices.
He said much, much more yesterday from his predictions to the final outcome (Obama by nine points even though he's a "mediocre" Senator) to whether experience matters (decidedly, yes) and honestly, it's all worth a read. What do you make of his commentary on what Palin represents about the Republican party? Is "drill baby, drill" replacing more. . . subtly thought out dialog? Did he go too far?