When New York Times columnist David Brooks pondered why the Republican Party was in such bad shape recently, he came to the conclusion that a majority of Americans simply no longer support traditional conservatism.

Where one might have found any conservatism for the last decade is beyond me. But make no mistake — voters did not reject traditional conservatism on Nov. 4; they rejected George W. Bush. And the Republican Party is a wreck today because it faithfully rode shotgun with a president fueled by neoconservative ideology, who drove his party into ditch after ditch — while men like Brooks shouted directions from the backseat.

By calling talk host Sean Hannity and think tanks like the Heritage Foundation representatives of traditional conservatism, it is clear that Brooks has spent too much time in Washington, D.C. and New York City, and he’s become completely divorced from reality. Exactly where in the last eight years did Hannity or Heritage ever depart from, criticize, or reject the big-government, socialistic, world’s-policeman radicalism that defined the Bush administration?

Writes befuddled conservative Paul Gottfried, “How could any adult believe that the advocates of global democratic revolution massed in Beltline think tanks [and] the loudmouth GOP-shill Hannity … are ‘traditionalists’?”

Gottfried is right. The only difference between Brooks and Hannity is that while the opinions of Brooks and his friends helped influence and subsequently wreck the Bush administration, the opinions of Hannity and his friends on talk radio were simply regurgitations of Bush policy, which they dutifully sold to the Republican base and which also subsequently wrecked the party.

So where does Brooks believe the Republican Party should go from here?

Read “Conservatism Rejected?”

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