Michael Gerson’s column this morning seems a likely candidate to spur some friendly discussion on the Porch. Highlights:
1) An offhanded scoff at those who think “that the federal government has only those powers specifically enumerated in the Constitution” (file under–what happened to the 10th Amendment?);
2) The claim that opposing “[federal] unemployment insurance, the [federal] minimum wage, [and] the federal highway system” are “political gaffes” spelling political death for any who fall into them;
3) The claim that gestures toward political violence are “far from reflecting the spirit of the Founders” (with a citation to the putting down of the Whiskey Rebellion … Lexington and Concord don’t qualify for consideration apparently);
4) Suggesting that the decentralist political philosophy so caricatured and dismissed by Gerson has no history as an “intellectual argument … conducted for years in serious books and journals” but rather was born out of a collection of Sarah Palin tweets;
5) And concluding with this claim: “Tea Party populism is just as clearly incompatible with some conservative and Republican beliefs. It is at odds with Abraham Lincoln’s inclusive tone and his conviction that government policies could empower individuals. It is inconsistent with religious teaching on government’s responsibility to seek the common good and to care for the weak. It does not reflect a Burkean suspicion of radical social change. The Democratic political nightmare is now obvious and overwhelming. The Republican challenge is different: building a majority on an unstable, slightly cracked foundation.”
It is fun to see liberal centrists like Gerson scramble amid the ruins to admonish the GOP towards “responsible leadership” in the wake of the disastrous regime of “responsible leadership” under which we have suffered for many years.