Republicans repeat formulas — government support equals dependency — that make sense according to free-market ideology, but oversimplify the real world. Republicans like Romney often rely on an economic language that seems corporate and alien to people who do not define themselves in economic terms. No wonder Romney has trouble relating.Rick Moran largely agrees with Brooks but adds this:
Some people blame bad campaign managers for Romney’s underperforming campaign, but the problem is deeper. Conservatism has lost the balance between economic and traditional conservatism. The Republican Party has abandoned half of its intellectual ammunition. It appeals to people as potential business owners, but not as parents, neighbors and citizens.
It’s not just the religious crazies, the economic dunderheads, the small government fanatics, or the neo-cons who have brought traditional conservatism to the state where much of the right views those who believe that government has an important role to play in society as “liberal-lites.” It is a studious avoidance of objective reality — a suspicion of intellectuals, a denial that criticism (even coming from within its ranks) is valid, a summary rejection of points of view from the other side, and a determination not to allow democratic government to work unless it is 100% on their terms.
To refer to them as corporate conservatives is unfair. Brooks may find it useful shorthand, but it hardly covers the range of right wing paranoia and dis-associative thinking that leads to many on the right taking people like Palin, Cain, and Bachmann seriously as presidential candidates.
In short, today, what passes for conservatism, lacks logic, coherence, compassion, respect, and basic analytical skills.