1. Conley actually wrote this for publication in the New York Times:
The truth is that the triumph of conservative ideas may present a political problem for the ailing Republicans, but the party that’s truly lacking in ideas is my own, the resurgent Democrats.
2. In making the case for #1, Conley has trouble distinguishing the (vanishing) postwar corporatist “social compact” from the New Deal and Great Society programs, and figuring out that what’s “trouble” for the former is not obviously problematic for the government social insurance programs that are the hallmarks of the latter.
3. Conley mentions possible policy directions like government intervention to form health insurance pools and absorb other economic risks, and the “soft paternalism” movement, without noting that such things are hallmarks of Democratic policy, not Republican policy. For instance, making the government the reinsurer of last resort was the centerpiece of John Kerry’s health care plan, and arguably the prominent advocate of “soft paternalism” is Cass Sunstein — a friend and informal advisor to last-time-I-checked-not-Republican Barack Obama.
4. Conley concludes that Democrats should “stop talking F.D.R., J.F.K. and L.B.J. and start thinking eBay, Google, and Wiki.” So the road to prosperity is paved with collaboratively advertising sales of used stuff to each other?! Great program.
(Cross-posted at Scatterplot.)