And this is not about the Rev. Wright, but about the The Conservative Revival by David Brooks in Friday’s NYT, who argues that American conservatives (and Republicans) should embrace David Cameron’s strategy of transforming Britain’s Conservative Party into a social democratic party, or a New Labor Party II. He concludes by making these points:
Some of his ideas would not sit well with American conservatives. He wants to create 4,200 more health visitors, who would come into the homes of new parents and help them manage day-to-day stress. But he also talks about rewriting the tax code to make it more family friendly, making child care more accessible, and making the streets safer.Some of this is famously gauzy, and Cameron is often disdained as a mere charmer. But politically it works. The Tory modernization project has produced stunning support in London, the southern suburbs, the Welsh heartlands and the ailing north. It’s not only that voters are tired of Labor. The Conservatives have successfully “decontaminated” their brand. They’re offering something in tune with the times.
Cameron describes a new global movement, with rising center-right parties in Sweden, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, California and New York (he admires Schwarzenegger and Bloomberg). American conservatives won’t simply import this model. But there’s a lot to learn from it. The only question is whether Republicans will learn those lessons sooner, or whether they will learn them later, after a decade or so in the wilderness.
Not surprisingly, Brooks doesn’t mention The War and Tony Blair’s support for it, which is central to explaining Labor’s current political problems, and the fact that Cameron has opposed it. Moreover, Brooks refrains from pointing out that one of the main reasons for the victories of the political right in the recent elections inLondon and Rome has been the winning candidates’ focus on the relationship between rising rates of crime and the increasing number of Muslim immigrants. That issue also explains why Nicholas Sarkozy, transforming himself into a “Le Pen-light” candidate had won the presidency in France (and I don’t buy the notion that Sarkozy is a French neocon; he is basically a French nationalist, a neo-Gaullist, if you will).
BTW, there was a time when Brooks wasn’t so hot about The Terminator.
(And it seems that the guys at The Corner also didn’t like his piece).