Donald Trump's performance in the Wisconsin primary convinced David Brooks that Trump would not have the required number of committed delegates to win the nomination. In this article he describes a plan that might produce a nominee other than Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. Brooks persists in the belief that neither Trump or Cruz represent the Republican Party that exists primarily in his imagination.
Brooks argues for a coalition of real Republicans which he calls the Lincoln Caucus. He contrasts this coalition with the Freedom Caucus which is the new name for the Tea Party which consists of groups that support Trump or Cruz for reasons that are inconsistent with Brooks ideal of the Republican Party. He might have come up with a different name for his coalition caucus. The Republican Party is no longer the Party of Lincoln. Its base of support in the Solid Republican South is not the Party of Lincoln.
Brooks continues to believe that there is widespread support within the Republican Party for something that he calls reformed conservatism. Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio carried that banner into the GOP primary campaign and they outspent Trump and Cruz to no avail. The Republican base responded more strongly to the emotional sentiments conveyed by Trump and Cruz. Workable ideas coming from either of them were in short supply. Moreover, a large segment of the GOP base believes that the GOP establishment, does not share their concerns. They only vote for Republicans because they hate the liberal ideals which they associate with the Democratic Party.
Paul Ryan is probably closer to Brooks' idealization of the Lincoln Caucus than most Republican leaders. However, Ryan and much of the GOP leadership, cling to the ideals that helped Ronald Reagan win two presidential elections. It remains the Party of Reagan and not the Party of Lincoln.