Brooks: GOP future good in 2014, dim later

2013-09-24T20:03:00Z 2013-09-24T20:27:14Z Brooks: GOP future good in 2014, dim laterBy Lenore Sobota | lsobota@pantagraph.com pantagraph.com
September 24, 2013 8:03 pm  • 

NORMAL — Republicans are likely to do well in the mid-term elections and might even gain control of the U.S. Senate, but the party’s longer term future looks dim, according to New York Times journalist and political commentator David Brooks.

In the Twin Cities to deliver the Adlai Stevenson Memorial Lecture on Tuesday night at Illinois Wesleyan University, Brooks gave a brief talk followed by a question-and-answer session at Illinois State University earlier in the day.

Asked if he was drifting to the middle, the conservative columnist said, “I feel the Republican Party is drifting more to the right and I’m staying put.”

Because turnout among older white males, a strong demographic for the Republican Party, tends to be higher than other groups in years without a presidential election, Brooks said Republicans probably will do well — which might lead party leaders to think, “Oh, we don’t have to reform.”

But Brooks said the demographic groups and regions where Republicans are strong are shrinking, while the ones that are growing — such as a Hispanics, single people and young people — are where Republicans do poorly.

“The energy of the party is in the most insular parts of the party,” he said. “They’re driving the debate off to the right.”

If the Republican Party wants to broaden its base, regain the White House and strengthen its hand in Congress, it needs to support immigration reform and back a social mobility agenda with pro-family measures, such as a larger child tax credit, and entitlement reform, Brooks said.

Asked about signs of improvement in government today, Brooks said, “In politics, I really can’t offer much sign of encouragement.”

He said, “It’s as bad as we’ve ever seen the political system” and there is “plenty of blame to go around.”

However, he does think Republicans and Democrats will reach a compromise to avoid a government shutdown.

“I don’t think we’re going to go over the brink,” Brooks said. “Neither one wants to go over the edge.”

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(6) Comments

  1. Walter
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    Walter - September 27, 2013 4:54 pm
    If the Republicans would express and act on their beliefs more effectively they would be more successful. Liberty and free choice are major virtues of this country, yet we watch as they are consumed by an ever growing central government that promises to care for us whether we chose to be productive or not. When people will have greater wealth doing nothing, or can claim disability yet golf, or go fishing and do not feel guilt that they are taking advantage of a foolish working class we are done. We have now reached a point where people want for themselves and do not see a connection to effort, or education, or risk or responsibility. since Republicans cannot define the problem, Democrats giving $$$s away are full speed ahead until the monetary system collapses, and that is hard to beat at the polls.
  2. Tom Terrific
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    Tom Terrific - September 26, 2013 4:28 am
    Alive and relevant? There will always be at least two major parties. Get rid of of the republicans or the democrats and another political party will appear to take their place. Someone has to play the bad guy.
  3. ChubbyAlaskaGriz
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    ChubbyAlaskaGriz - September 26, 2013 2:28 am
    I will never again cast my vote for any candidate that cannot consider me (a gay American)) as their full equal. Some in the GOP are evolving- as well they should- and NEED to to keep the party alive and relevant. But I'm worried not enough will change and correct their stances in time for the next Presiential election. And I damn sure ain't votin' Democrat! I've held my nose as I cast my ballot for decades. But this is 2013 and I no longer have to vote for people who think of me as inferior to them.
  4. Gadfly
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    Gadfly - September 25, 2013 1:35 pm
    I hope the Pantagraph does a follow-up story on last evening's lecture which was meaningful and instructive, as well as entertaining, on the broader state of affairs in American politics.
  5. rnner65
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    rnner65 - September 25, 2013 10:37 am
    In the words of John Lennon, "whatever gets you through the night."
  6. exrepub
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    exrepub - September 25, 2013 6:50 am
    Getting in control of the senate? While they are drifting farther to the right. He is dreaming. Very few want to even admit to being a republican and even they realize what the republicans do. If they can't get their way they are willing to shut down everything.Most people at least want the government to stay open. They don't like tantrums by either party. The best thing for the United States would be to tell Ted Cruz and Paul Rand, even John McCain to pack their bags and go back to where they came from. And stay there. And kick Boehner out as speaker. Nancy Pelosi did so much better of a job. I think the republicans have the worse chance of getting any seats in 2014 than they have in years. And the last time they even gained them was tby outside money and trickery. Hopefully most people have caught on to that. by now. It would be amazing to me if the republicans gained one seat in the house or senate. They need to show their values and earn them. Which they don't.
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