Atrios had the same, surprised, giddy reaction to today's David Brooks column as I did. Wow. Did Brooksie flip out, or what?
And indeed, Brooksie does come off like he's fed up with his gang's shennanigans. But before you get to thinking Brooks is going all softy, pay attention to the real money section here:
New leadership elections would, at least, make the current leaders re-earn their slots with new platforms. At best, they would allow the party to reinvigorate itself under new management. A party led by young talents like Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, Mike Pence and Mark Kirk would be taken seriously as a party of reform.
I'm not familiar with Eric Cantor or Mark Kirk. But I have heard of Paul Ryan and Mike Pence. And neither of them could be categorized as "centrist" Republicans.
This is from the WashPost, dated March 2005:
These days Pence, 45, elected to his third term last fall, is leading the charge for conservative principles on Capitol Hill instead of merely talking about them on the air. The beginning of the 109th Congress in January marked the start of Pence's tenure as head of the Republican Study Committee, a group of more than 100 of Congress's most conservative lawmakers. According to the group's Web site, members are dedicated to limiting the power of the federal government, building national defense, protecting private property rights and preserving "traditional family values."
Meanwhile, Ryan is considered an "up and coming" conservative Republican member of the House, who has cosponsored one of the more aggressive Social Security "privatization" plans.
So, what do you think Brooksie has in mind here, by planting these names? A more moderate Republican-controlled House? Unlikely.
So be careful of a Brooks bearing gifts.