In his New York Times piece today, David Brooks says that the GOP presidential nominee’s ideas don’t matter that much:
…this is not a party riven by big ideological differences. This is not Reagan versus Rockefeller. Whoever wins the nomination will be leading a party with a cohesive ideology and a common set of priorities: reform taxes, replace Obamacare, cut spending and reform entitlements. The next president won’t have to come up with a vision, just execute the things almost all Republicans agree upon.
Brooks is (in this passage, if not the rest of his column) sounding a bit like Grover Norquist:
Now the Republican Congress has its tax reform and entitlement spending reform written down. It’s the Paul Ryan budget plan, which received 235 House and 40 Senate Republican votes.
They are not looking for a candidate with ideas. They want one who can win 270 electoral votes and sign his or her own name.
Congress will provide the legislation and the pen.
Brooks’s column is a defense of Mitt Romney as the Republican frontrunner. He doesn’t mention that Romney could get a head start on signing Ryan’s ideas into law by endorsing Ryan’s replacement for Obamacare.