February 9, 2013
JUDY WOODRUFF, PBS NEWSHOUR: Well, bring it back home, and talking about politics, pure politics, inside the Republican Party, David, it looks like there are some -- we have seen some evidence of this, but now it looks like it's more out in the open, that some of the traditional -- folks we thought of as being traditional leaders of the Republican Party are openly challenging the Tea Party.
DAVID BROOKS: Right.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Is this a momentary difference of opinion, or is it some longer-lasting ...
DAVID BROOKS: I think it's the beginning of a longer-lasting thing.
There's been a lot of calls for Republicans to change. And we have seen that from everybody to Paul Ryan to Marco Rubio. Now we're beginning to see the donor class really begin to change. There is some question, are they trying to change just the candidates, so they don't get Todd Akin, or they trying to actually change some of the substance?
And, so far , it seems to be just the candidates. One of the interesting things -- and I can't say I know the answer to this -- is, how much will the Tea Party fight back? There has been some effort that they are saying, oh, the establishment is taking over.
But my own sense of things so far is that there is not the will to fight among the Tea Party and that a lot of people in the Tea Party are, frankly -- they're not -- they are also Republicans. And a lot of -- say, Rush Limbaugh, for example, who is not Tea Party, he's more an establishment Republican who wants the Republican Party to win.
So I have a feeling that the establishment is going to have maybe an easier time of it than some might think.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But, as we keep being reminded, the Republicans -- most of the Republicans who were reelected come from districts where they were comfortably reelected, and they -- do they see a reason to think differently, act differently, when they're being supported by the folks who sent them to represent that district?
DAVID BROOKS: People don't change.
So I read a study this week where they took a look at candidates. What happens when they get -- when their district shifts and their district, say, becomes more moderate? Do the candidates themselves become more moderate? The answer is no. People don't change. So, if you are looking for people atop the Republican Party to lead the change of changing the party, that is just not going to happen.
It's going to be people out in the states. It's going to be people off in a new wing that's going to rise up and change the party from the outside.