The delusions are held not only by defeated members of Congress. Other members of what Angelo Codevilla calls the ruling class share their benightedness. Ross Douthat, in a column in The New York Times on Monday, thought Social Security, founded in the 1930s, was "achieved amid strong economic growth, rather than at the bottom of a recession." That is a unique perspective on the 1930s! He concluded that "Obama seems as if he would have been a wonderful chief executive in an era of prosperity and consensus, when he could have given soaring speeches every week and made us all feel tingly about America." Has Douthat heard the things Obama has actually said about America, its arrogance and its militarism?
Then there is the Times' David Brooks, who now seems to be calling the incoming Republican majority in the House a party that has "developed a sense of modesty" and will act as Brooks tells it to act. On Nov. 10, 2008, he wrote that "the Republican Party will probably veer right in the years ahead, and suffer more defeats." That is a theme Brooks has reiterated time and again. Well, the party did "veer right" and in 2010 suffered the greatest off-year election victory in two generations. It now will go its own way, irrespective of the ipse dixit judgments of Douthat and Brooks and the rest of the ruling class.
One of these popinjays' favorite judgments is that the Republican Party has no well-defined alternative to Obama's governance. It is the party of anger, and you cannot govern from anger. Yet this, too, is nonsense. The conservatives are not particularly angry, and they do have an alternative to Obama. The conservatives in the Republican Party and their reinforcements from the tea party have a perfectly workable alternative to Obama's socialism. It is Rep. Paul Ryan's "Roadmap for America's Future." It is a plan to grow the economy, cut spending and, in general, revive America. We shall be hearing more about it in the months to come.