Re-reading and thinking about Ross' and Reihan's provocative book, here's the first of a few posts making what I hope are some valid criticisms. First off, I don't think it's entirely fair to see the book as a grand policy-and-politics solution to the GOP's many problems. It's more modest than that, and helpfully so. It isn't an attempt at a grand political philosophy or a summary of what conservatism might be as an abstract philosophy. It is both a narrative of recent American history and an attempt to pursue the intimations of that history to inform and strengthen an emerging political coalition. In that sense, it really is a conservative book - practical, historical, concrete, specific to a time and place. It is remarkably secular in its tone and prescriptions; and it's almost silent on foreign policy. You can agree with bits of it constructively without having to buy the entire thesis or share the authors' views on everything. It's bloggy in this sense too - which makes sense for the first generation to have been brought up on the blogosphere.
The policy ideas are interesting. I'm increasingly persuaded that cap-and-trade or even a carbon tax aren't the best ways to encourage economic growth and move us away from carbon.