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Eagle Eye

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Is the choice facing the major two parties in both Britain and America: govern from the centre, or languish at the margins.

The Republican Party has behaved disgracefully over the health care. By that I mean not just that the case against Obama's proposals is intellectually bankrupt and economically illiterate. 

I mean what Clive Crook and Paul Krugman both get at, which is the willingness of Republicans to sponsor hysteria, lies, and racism in a (successful) bid to mislead the American people and thereby boost opposition to these reforms.

Luckily for Republicans, and American conservatism more generally, the competing options for their immediate future - and really there are only two - have been spelt out, in each case by very clever men.

Clever William Kristol has said that the best comparison for the GOP is not with Waterloo; rather it is with Borodino.  It's an interesting idea, but in demanding that repeal of Obamacare become the Republicans raison d'etre, Kristol is showing that he's not really interested in government at all, despite the last sentence of his special editorial. He's interested in factionalism.

Clever David Frum is the man whose reference to Waterloo inspired Kristol's reference to Borodino. He and Andrew Sullivan are huge assets to American conservatism just now, because they are being honest about its deficiencies - moral, intellectual, and practical.  Frum is interested in government.

I am not a conservative, but if I was, and if I was intent on the politics of power rather than the politics of the playground, I'd choose to govern from the centre.

There is very little evidence to suggest the GOP is presently so inclined. 

There is a lot of evidence suggesting the opposite.