Giving up for the moment on his noble quest for a third party miracle, Friedman has settled on wishing for the Republicans to become "a coherent Republican opposition that is offering constructive conservative proposals on the key issues and is ready for strategic compromises to advance its interests and those of the country." Otherwise, according to this purported liberal voice of the Times, the Democrats have no incentive to rein in their "magical thinking."
Until the G.O.P. stops being radical and returns to being conservative, it won’t provide what the country needs most now — competition — competition with Democrats on the issues that will determine whether we thrive in the 21st century. We need to hear conservative fiscal policies, energy policies, immigration policies and public-private partnership concepts — not radical ones. Would somebody please restore our second party? The country is starved for a grown-up debate.
What Friedman doesn't get -- or refuses to acknowledge -- is that the conservative ideas he longs for have been tried, and they don't work. Trickle down economics, tax cuts for the wealthy, eliminating or cutting social programs, deficit reduction rather than stimulus, deregulation, tax breaks for oil companies.
We don't need a vibrant conservative alternative to the Democratic Party. We need a more progressive one.