Kathryn Lopez

Analyzing the debate, one liberal commentator on the same network went on a similar rant -- in short, that Republicans do not care about the downtrodden if they are not backing big-government solutions. But Romney knows that personal responsibility changes things. He knows that welfare reform kickstarted a change in urban culture, getting moms working, and getting teen-pregnancy rates down. He knows that, as Kay Hymowitz put it, "the grim fact is that bringing a reliable dad into the home of the 80 percent or so of inner-city children growing up with a single mother is a task of such psychological and sociological complexity as to rival democracy-building in Iraq." That is why Romney has said, "Some of the most important work being done in our country today is the work going on within the four walls of the American home," and praised Cosby during that same debate. After Cosby appeared on "Meet the Press" this fall, talking about the importance of paternal responsibility, Romney said: "America's inner strength, the strength of our families and communities, is just as important as our economic strength and military strength. Strong families form our heart and our culture, and that's what makes America special."

Cosby, who is no conservative Republican activist, reminds us that there are exceptions to mass generalizations about politics. Many sensible Americans lean left, and many nonsensible people are right-wing. However, as Vieira and Cooper reminded me that day in late November, there is something about the left-leaning establishment that absolutely cringes at the idea of good sense, echoing knee-jerk liberal arguments -- and that's not good for anyone, most especially their desire to keep sensible Americans watching.


Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.