Republican Leadership: Intellectuals

The Republican Party directs  often shrill attacks on so-called “intellectuals” or “Liberals”. And Republicans have a very loose definition of a liberal,  probably close to “any non-engineer, non-business person with a  graduate degree from any Ivy League-like School  who maintains their academic or scientific relationships” [ye Editor is just kidding].  Thus, it is a surprise to find two Republican intellectuals leading the charge against the National Policy drift and  acrimonious Political Partisanship that is afflicting the US in its era of slip-sliding economic and social decline.

Andrew Sullivan

Andrew Sullivan is former writer for the Atlantic Monthly who has taken his Daily Dish over to the Daily Beast. This is the short and curly, see here for more details. And the Daily Dish is just that, a huge outpouring of political , economic and moral stories each day that are remarkably well researched and on the spot most of the time.  Today, June 17th 2011, ye Editor counted 39 stories[and this day’s Dish is not necessarily done] of which the following – you be the judge on how interesting, relevant and readable they are:
The Road To Better Biofuels – how the possibility of cuts to Ethanol subsidies could open up better biofuel processes. But he misses the XOM connection, Exxon Mobil has done lots of research in this arena that they would like to commercialize without the Ethanol headwinds.
The Market For Sex Selection – is ahead of the curve on this roiling issue.
The Final Form Of Love – great moral message neatly delivered.
“Conservatism Is True.” Ctd – continues to properly describe current Republican policy as psudoconservatism and based on “hallucinogenic” economics. But badly missing is the origin of the affliction within the GOP.
The Right To Drive – reveals that in Saudi Arabia women are not allowed to drive.
Dissent Of The Day – Andrew stands corrected on his story on Solar vs Steel jobs in the USA.
The Case Against Rick Perry – succinct dismissal of Texas Governor as a viable Presidential Candidate. Could be said of the whole field so far.
The Spiritual Power Of Psilocybin – this is also in Dawkin’s book, The God Delusion.
Internet In A Suitcase – an alternative to bombing Libya.
One Man’s Power – more on the constitutionality of Predator and other military strikes in Libya by President Obama.
“It Worked In Texas” Ctd – why this is not a winning Presidential formula.
Are Tomatoes The New Blood Diamonds? – read this and weep.
Now I have whittled roughly forty stories down by about  1/3rd that number in finding meaningful and intelligent commentary on the political and economic scene. And that is the blessing but also curse of Sullivan’s tsunami of opinions. It certainly has breadth and weight; but sometimes lacks the integration and depth that our second Republican intellectual, NYTimes David Brooks has shown recently.


David Brooks

For two columns running, David Brooks has really surprised this NYTimes reader with the cogency and eloquence of his writing on the nature of the problems confronting the US. The infection is centered on Washington and in both parties. The political elites have become self-servingly dysfunctional. The latest tale on Jame Johnson of FNMA is most revealing. It indicts the FNMA CEO and his cohorts, and there are many, for selling out on a worthy goal – greater home ownership. This squares with the facts that nothing seems to come out of the black hole on the FNMA contribution to the Housing Crisis other than $150B and counting that FNMA alone is responsible for. Not quite equal to what the Wall Street Banks did but that is without taking Freddie Mac into account. It also underlines the fingerpointing from my Finacially Instituted friends who constantly say that ” government made them do the Mortgage nasties”.
The other posting ye Editor has already cited as a breakthrough just this last week. David has well defined the No1 Election issue for the 2012 Presidential elections => the broad fear in the US that it is in an inevitable economic, social and moral decline. So far no other popular pundit of either political persuasion has stated the problem so clearly and concisely. It will be interesting to see if a)David continues on this tack and b)like Felix Salmon at Reuters and Andrew Sullivan above, David  brings other fellow thinkers [links, please, David] to the fore on these issues to bring about more consensus building as to the nature of the problem and some potential directions and solutions.
Summary
So ye Editor  has only two Republican intellectuals [okay 1 1/2 with Andrew being a Centrist]doing some REALPolitikSpeak. I have yet to find a Democrat to identify the same issues[Frank Rich and Bob Herbert are gone from the NYTimes, Reich is too doctrinaire, Paul Krugman arguing from the midpoints, Joe Klein lost in the details, …] since  the HuffPost and theAtlantic and Slate and Politico and … well their writers have identified some critical issues but their publications are just too absorbed in the petty  political chump and churn. As for George Will or Charles Krauthammar on the Republican side … they will change their approach to the National Crisis when Bibi Netanyahu stops the Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

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