The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Bring Me the Head of David Brooks

Posted on | November 12, 2010 | 12 Comments

No one — not David Frum, not Conor Friedersdorf, not even Charles Johnson — has been the source of more genuine evil in American politics than David Brooks. His 1997 paean to big government Republicanism, “A Return to National Greatness,” was a blueprint for the abandonment of Reaganite principles.

“National Greatness” was sort of a Protocols of the Learned Elders of RINO, helping pave the intellectual way toward “Compassionate Conservatism,” No Child Left Behind, Medicare prescription drug coverage and everything else loathsome about Bush-era Republican policy.

Brooks considered it a “damned outrage” when TARP-sucking Bob Bennett got beat in the Utah GOP convention, and in May bemoaned the victory of Rand Paul in the Kentucky Republican primary while also bemoaning the defeat of turncoat Arlen Specter in the Pennsylania Democratic primary:

Yes, well, this is a frustration for me. For people in the center, Arlen Specter is symptomatic of a problem, which is that there is no centrist philosophy. You know, people in the center should be able to say, we have big budget deficits, out of control, and here’s our agenda. . . .
And, yet, the center has not developed that. People who consider themselves moderates have not developed that philosophy. And, so, a lot of people who look like centrists and who seem basically centrist, like Arlen Specter, just seem like opportunists. . . .

Yes, exactly, Mr. Brooks: Specter did seem like an opportunist, because he was an opportunist, just like you. Specter was a vain and unprincipled power-seeker, and you are a vain and unprincipled power-worshipper.

Look how adept you are at trimming your sails to the prevailing winds, Mr. Brooks. When Obama was riding high, you were there to sniff the creases of his pants, and now you’re back to lecture us on behalf of your own opportunistic centrism, “A National Greatness Agenda“:

The country is restive and looking for alternatives. And before the next round of voting begins, I suspect we will see another mass movement: a movement of people who don’t feel represented by either of the partisan orthodoxies; a movement of people who want to fundamentally change the norms, institutions and rigidities that cause our gridlock and threaten our country.

Make book on it: If Republicans stand strong on conservative principles, play shrewd politics, nominate good candidates and capture the Senate and White House in 2012, Brooks will be there after Election Day to lecture the re-ascendant GOP that they should abandon “partisan orthodoxies . . . and rigidities.”

Be careful, Mr. Brooks. After the bloodthirsty Tea Party mobs have finished publicly horsewhipping and stomping Pete Sessions to a bloody pulp, they may come looking for you.

UPDATE: Daniel Larison provides a thorough dissection of the Brooksian Error.


12 Responses to “Bring Me the Head of David Brooks”

  1. Oldguyinwhittier
    November 12th, 2010 @ 2:06 pm

    Frankly, I think David Brock is worse, myself.