New Ideas! New Ideas!

Nothing is more predictable than that Republican defeat will lead to an insistent search for conservative “new ideas,” even though American conservatism is explicitly devoted to very old ideas — limited government, economic liberty, cultural traditionalism, and so forth. I’m old enough to remember the frantic hunt for “new ideas” that followed the 1996 defeat of Bob Dole, when David Brooks first proposed “National Greatness,” a sort of big-government Republican agenda that paved the way for Bush’s “compassionate conservatism.”

So today the Boston Globe names “young thinkers” who are supposed to generate “the next big conservative ideas,” with predictably laughable consequences.

Advice to Republicans: If you’re looking for conservative ideas, the Boston Globe is probably not the place to look for them.

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