Why the president has abandoned the centrist approach.
Why do I hold Sarah Palin to a more exacting standard than I do David Frum? Simple: because Palin and Frum fulfill different roles in the conservative movement. Palin is a political leader; Frum an intellectual leader. As an intellectual leader, Frum has much greater leeway — and an obligation really — to challenge conservative orthodoxy. Palin, by contrast, is abandoning conservative policy positions that she does not yet fully understand and has not yet fully thought through.
Critics or my recent NewsReal Blog post miss my point. My point is not to disparage either Sarah Palin or Carly Fiorina, both of whom I like, respect and admire. My point is to be candid about Palin’s shortcomings so that she can change. Because America needs the Sarah Palin that can be, not the Sarah Palin that now is.
David Brooks has a provocative column today likening today’s Tea Party movement to the New Left that emerged in the 60s counterculture. Brooks is right about some of the outward similarities: the populist rhetoric; the grassroots activism; the disdain for political elites; and, ultimately, the somewhat diffuse policy agenda defined more by what it stands [...]