The Deluded Fantasy Life

…of David Brooks:

Many of the president-elect’s advisers had been reading histories of the New Deal. They had ambitious plans to address the crisis: federal jobs programs, new building projects, new spending initiatives. This was no time to worry about deficits, they said. This was an opportunity to address needs that had been neglected for decades.

Obama, in this fanciful version, held up his hand. He told his aides to put away the history books and reject the New Deal comparisons. Unlike in 1932, Americans today have a raging distrust of Washington, he observed. Living through a crisis caused by excessive debt, they will viscerally recoil at the prospect of federal debt without end. “Somehow,” Obama concluded, “we have to address the crisis without further terrifying the American people.”

The stimulus package, he continued, should rely heavily on cutting payroll taxes. This, he argued, will send a quick jolt to the economy without concentrating power in Washington. It will deliver a sharp psychological boost to the middle class. It might even be bipartisan. Obama noted that John McCain had a $445 billion stimulus plan along these lines and his fellow Republican senator, Mel Martinez, a $713 billion plan.

A fanciful version indeed. The frightening thing is that David Brooks actually believed (and perhaps, somehow, still does) that Barack Obama was ever ideologically capable of such a thing, or so wise. You and other bien pensants foisted him on us, David, despite our warnings, because you didn’t want your DC party invites to dry up. When will you admit that you quaffed too deeply the koolaid?

6 thoughts on “The Deluded Fantasy Life”

  1. When will you admit that you quaffed too deeply the koolaid?

    Never. I swear that thing reads like an SNL script.

    Democrats were going to define themselves as the economic Back to Basics Party. They wouldn’t let Republicans news magazine covers define them as somehow “alien” or “socialist.”

    He’s getting near Andrew Sullivan territory; where he’s got nothing left but self-parody.

  2. David Brooks “believed”? A whole lot of people believed that scenario otherwise Mr. Obama would not have been elected.

    One meme, however, that I would like to lay to rest is “those evil Republicans” who have been united against every single of Mr. Obama’s policy initiatives out of sinister, perhaps racial motivations.

    I mean one cannot have a discussion with anyone who brings up “oh, the Republicans.” If one even obliquely suggests that maybe there are some serious differences of opinion on policy, you get this “Oh no, if there were, ‘they’ (the Republicans’) would have figured out some to participate (in controversial measures such as the Stimulus and Health Care Reform)”

    OK, I will tell you what falsifies these business of the “evil Republicans.” Afghanistan. Apart from a few in the right-wing punditocracy and commentariat, the actual Republican members of both houses of Congress, and especially the leadership, are unwavering in their support for what Mr. Obama is doing in Afghanistan.

    Again, OK you may say, the Republicans are totally evil because they oppose the Stimulus, oppose Health Care Reform, oppose Cap and Trade, and they support war, a completely evil set of positions, whereas Mr. Obama is only slightly evil because he has reluctantly supported a kind of “surge” strategy in Afghanistan.

    Yes . . . but . . . I am not talking about Republicans being evil for their policy positions, I am talking about the Republicans being evil for opposing . . . every . . . last . . . thing . . . this President has proposed, a “testable hypothesis” that is plainly falsified by Afghanistan. The Republicans are not jumping for joy over Mr. Obama’s Afghan policy, but the actual ones in Congress have pretty much offered their support without engaging in any backbiting, and no, (cough) Mr. Steele (cough) the RNC chair doesn’t really count because even among Republicans, he is regarded as a “loose cannon”, and yes, racial politics enter into this as Republicans are reluctant to rebuke one of their own, Mr. Steele, because they are concerned about their image of “being racist”, which further puts the lie to the idea that they are indeed, racist.

  3. I agree with Curt that no such admission is ever forthcoming.

    However, being consistently wrong does give Brooks a certain usefulness.

    Watching the economic policy antics of the Golfer-in-Chief, one is struck by how much he must have enjoyed the end of Thelma and Louise.

  4. The frightening thing is that David Brooks actually believed (and perhaps, somehow, still does) that Barack Obama was ever ideologically capable of such a thing, or so wise.

    Sheesh, are people like David Brooks just incapable of doing a facepalm.

  5. David Brooks is usually quite awful, but this essay sets a whole new standard of awfulness. You want to laugh and then you realize he is quite serious. And the Times wonders why their subscribership is diminishing

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