Tuesday, September 20, 2011

David Brooks is also a sap for moderation

At the N.Y. Times supposed conservative columnist David Brooks admits to be “an Obama sap.”  The column essentially details Brooks’ disappointment in Obama to which the best responses on Twitter have been by Iowahawk who commented first “if you’re so smart, how come you’re so stupid” and then “the intellectuals are always the last to figure it out.”

Too true, and more evidence for that last observation is when Brooks writes:

The president believes the press corps imposes a false equivalency on American politics. We assign equal blame to both parties for the dysfunctional politics when in reality the Republicans are more rigid and extreme. There’s a lot of truth to that, but at least Republicans respect Americans enough to tell us what they really think.”

It seems to me that false equivalency falls mainly on the other side.  What Brooks the intellectual apparently hasn’t noticed is that the liberal/progressive vs conservative political battle has been a rout since roughly the New Deal.  The moderation that Brooks pines for has to date resulted in more and more government to our present state of unsustainability.  Disappointment for liberals has been largely a function of impatience, their programs have been passed slower and been less sweeping than they’ve desired, for conservatives disappointment has been serial defeats, offset by containment type “victories.”

Brooks the intellectual is observing things in shorter increments and ignoring the larger historical sweep of things.  Meanwhile the rubes in the hinterlands, who don’t get to write for the NY Times, and who didn’t get taken in by Obama, have noticed the extent of their losses and are disinclined to compromise in the form of giving liberals half victories.  Like Iowahawk says, “the intellectuals are always the last to figure it out.”

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