This guy is useless
I honestly don't get what people see in David Brooks. He always strikes me as just another smirking conservative, but apparently he is urbane enough to pass in polite society that liberals inhabit.
His persona, both on McNeill-Lehrer and in the Times, is of a "reasonable" conservative, someone not infected by the hate and anger of people like the teabaggers.
Of course, that doesn't stop him from engaging in distortions or pure fabrications when it suits his purposes.
Like today's column, in which he regrets (he seems to be pretty good at regretting) the polarization we have seen in our politics since Obama became president. Of course, part of what he demonstrates is the MSM's fetish for the pox-on-both-your-houses meme.
The country had just elected a man who vowed to move past the old polarities, who valued discussion and who clearly had some sympathy with both the Burkean and Hamiltonian impulses. He staffed his administration with brilliant pragmatists whose views overlapped with mine, who differed only in that they have more faith in technocratic planning.
Yet things have not worked out for those of us in the broad middle. Politics is more polarized than ever. The two parties have drifted further to the extremes. The center is drained and depressed.
He has to know that this is just false. Why is it so hard to criticize the Republicans without feeling that you also have to criticize the Democrats? He's absolutely right that the Republicans have not just drifted, but charged, to the extreme right.
The Democrats, on the other hand? Absolutely not. The program of the national Democratic Party, whether it's the abandonment of single-payer health care, or even a public option, or Obama's conciliatory statements to the bankers yesterday, or Obama's embracing of most of Bush's attacks on civil liberties, is more conservative than it has been at any time since the southern racists decamped for the Republican Party in the 1960's. In Brooks's view, though, they have both drifted to the extremes.
Is it official? Is Brooks now the leading acolyte of High Broderism?