What David Brooks meant to say ("Republicans Can't Pass Bills"):
Freedom is like ice cream: it comes in many different flavors. For example, you can have freedom in the future or you can have it right now.
Freedom in the future is what philosophers whose names escape me refer to as "freedom as capacity". Thus you should encourage your friend to practice the piano hard, which will increase his piano-playing capacity. In the same way you should feed your kid nutritious meals, make her do her homework, and see that she plays sports and performs volunteer work, so that she will have the capacity of getting into the college she likes.
I have no idea how philosophers refer to freedom in the present, so I'll call it "freedom as detachment", which sounds kind of Buddhist but is not. This is when you let people alone to do what they want, based on the belief that people are freer when they are unimpeded. It is defined as a kind of absence—the absence of obstacles, stumbling blocks, speed bumps, and things that get in the way.
Back in the day, when the Republican Party used to be interested in running the government, it embraced both flavors of freedom, but its congressional priorities were all about freedom of capacity. When you consider the party's major legislative accomplishments since 1988, you can see it working to provide people with more capacities.