THE DOG THAT DIDN’T BARK IN THE NIGHT….David Brooks writes today in “The Coming Activist Age” that we are entering an era of “epic legislation.” He then ticks off five areas that he thinks will “compel the federal government to act in gigantic ways over the next few years”: healthcare, energy, education, financial markets, and infrastructure.
Fine. But then he tries to make the point that this doesn’t necessarily favor Democrats. Sure, he says, Dems are the natural party of federal vigor:
Yet, historically, periods of great governmental change have often been periods of conservative rule….Two of the most prominent conservative reformers were Benjamin Disraeli and Theodore Roosevelt. Both reframed the political debate so that it was not change versus the status quo, it was unfamiliar change versus cautious, patriotic change designed to preserve the traditional virtues of the nation.
Those are odd choices, aren’t they? A Victorian era prime minister and a guy who accidentally became president in 1901. Surely there must have been some prominent conservative reformers from within the past century that he could have named instead. Anyone? Bueller?