David Brooks: Obama "is still the most realistic and reasonable major player in Washington"

Chris Hedges isn't the only commentator on the verge of snapping like a twigNew York Times con-man David Brooks is definitely showing the strains of being the Last Sane Man in American politics:

In a sensible country, people would see Obama as a president trying to define a modern brand of moderate progressivism. In a sensible country, Obama would be able to clearly define this project without fear of offending the people he needs to get legislation passed. But we don’t live in that country. We live in a country in which many people live in information cocoons in which they only talk to members of their own party and read blogs of their own sect. They come away with perceptions fundamentally at odds with reality, fundamentally misunderstanding the man in the Oval Office.

We're all entitled to our own man-crushes–heck, I think Jeff Flake's a dreamboat–but we are not entitled to our own facts. And on the facts of Obama's actual governing policies, Brooks does some quick hand-waving about how the administration's crack financial team have "tried with halting success to find a center-left set of restraints to provide some stability to market operations" (what does that even mean?), points out that lefties and righties both critize Tim Geithner, and so therefore MODERATE AND REASONABLE PROGRESSIVE. Here's an example of his logic:

Take education. Obama has taken on a Democratic constituency, the teachers' unions, with a courage not seen since George W. Bush took on the anti-immigration forces in his own party. In a remarkable speech on March 1, he went straight at the guardians of the status quo by calling for the removal of failing teachers in failing schools. Obama has been the most determined education reformer in the modern presidency.

You know what else Obama said? He said, in the midst of the financial crisis, that he would nonetheless enact a "net spending cut." Astute observers may note that, in fact, Obama did not enact a net spending cut. This example highlights an interesting fact of governance, one that a smarter-than-thou political commentator might consider cogitating on: Words and deeds are different things.

And what are Obama's deeds on the subject in question, education? He poured an unprecedented $100 billion into the education status quo via the stimulus package alone, ensuring the exact opposite of what Brooks claims: keeping failed teachers in failing schools. He signed into law the absolutely gratuitous euthanasia of Washington, D.C.'s school voucher program. He proposed jacking up the federal education budget another 6.2 percent this year even in a time of profound fiscal crisis, and the main reformist element of his approach–the Race to the Top initiative, which incentivizes states to embrace charter schools and more closely link teacher evaluation to student performance–amounts to less than 5 percent of the education stimulus money, and may have its biggest impact in railroading through a single national academic standard for K-12 schools.

Yeah, Obama can occasionally talk a good game about firing lousy teachers, and yeah, Arne Duncan is the most reform-credentialed education secretary in memory. But in a sensible world of political commentary, people would go beyond surface talk and analyze nuts-and-bolts governance. For more on the latter, see this ReasonTV vid, and weep:

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  • ||

    Damn it David stay away from my husband!!

  • Hillary C||

    I wish it was men.

  • ||

    Looks like it's time for a little tickle fight between David and BO.

  • kaikunane||

    He's great person for you,. but, maybe no for some people,. but, it's no problem.

  • ||

    Kurt Vonnegut once said: "From this moment on,
    let all those who feel that Americans can be as easily led to beauty as to
    ugliness, to truth as to public relations, to joy as to bitterness, be said
    to be suffering from Hunter Thompson's disease."

  • ||

    Poo-tee-weet

  • ||

    "define a modern brand of moderate progressivism."

    What the hell is that supposed to mean?

    And just because both sides hate Geitner because he is a tax cheat and a petty criminal doesn't mean he is a moderate.

  • Godwin is dead||

    You know who else both sides hated...

  • ed||

    Jesus?

  • rctl||

    the kid in the middle of conjoined triplets?

  • Bad Person for Laughing?||

    LOL

  • rctl||

    Only if you were laughing about Jesus, Buddha, Brahman, Muhammad,God or Oprah.

  • ||

    You know, every time I read something David Brooks wrote, and think it's the stupidest gorram stream of anal leakage I've ever seen published in a widely read forum, he goes and writes something even more putrid a few days later. It's turtles of disappointment all the way down, I guess.

  • ||

    Ezra Klein today on the health care debate

    "If Republicans figure out some nuclear level of obstruction that could actually derail the reconciliation process, then they will effectively own the worst elements of the Senate bill, and Democrats can just spend their time hammering Republican obstructionism that has so lost touch with reality that they'd rather keep legislation they're against than let Democrats fix it. Or so goes the argument."

    Klein might actually be dumber than Brooks. It is close. Although Brooks probably gets the edge since Klein is 12 years old.

  • ||

    It's the political version of "I'm going to walk toward you and swing my arms back and forth, and if you get in my way it's YOUR OWN FAULT!"

  • Sam||

    Makes you wonder how he ever got the power to reach these folk in the first place. There is something to be said for backstabbing vultures in the media. I needn't elaborate... we all know it.

  • ¢||

    (what does that even mean?)

    It's a sexual fantasy.

    Brooks, in his earlier rhapsody on Obama's pants, really wanted to tell us which way he dresses. He couldn't, but he has to. So this is how he tells it.

    He needs to be the pants. Restraining, stabilizing. A little to the left.

  • ||

    +1.

  • ||

    "And to think, there's only a thin layer of gabardine separating us and him"

    I truly, truly loathe David Brooks' and his pedantic, snivelling, sycophantic, boot lickety tripe.

    He and Mark Shields just truly want to make my entire alimentary canal prolapse with their Oblahma worship.

    Forget the damn man crush, it's full a blown lovefest.

  • Skid Marx||

    Forget the damn man crush, it's full a blowjobn lovefest.

  • rctl||

    Which blow fest? It is hard to keep tract with these closet doors swinging open at a metaphoric rate. Are you speaking of David Brooks and his admiration of Obama or Matt Welch and his man-crush on dreamboat Jeff Flake?

  • ||

    We live in a country in which many people live in information cocoons in which they only talk to members of their own party and read blogs of their own sect.

    The projection, it burns! The goggles do nothing!

  • ||

    Actually Epi, David does have a point. However it was his ilk that led us to this:

    "Public respect for the media has plunged to a new low, with just 29 percent of Americans saying that news organizations generally get their facts straight."

    "That figure is the lowest in more than two decades of surveys by the Pew Research Center, which also found just 26 percent saying news outlets are careful that their reporting is not politically biased. And 70 percent say news organizations try to cover up their mistakes. That amounts to a stunning vote of no confidence."

    So FUCK YOU Mr. Brooks

  • ||

    Epiciarch,

    You, sir, are a funny guy.

  • ||

    "We live in a country in which many people live in information cocoons in which they only talk to members of their own party and read blogs of their own sect."

    As opposed to Brooks who gets all of his information from Paul Krugman and Chris Matthews.

  • ||

    Astute observers may note that, in fact, Obama did not enact a net spending cut.

    We are not buying nearly as many nets as we used to. And the ones we *are* buying are from supply contracts left over from the previous administration.

  • ||

    Obama doesn't care about malaria?

  • ||

    It's part of the endangered whale relocation program. Or basketball stadium project. I'm not sure.

  • ||

    David Brooks is Chris Crocker?

  • ||

    LEAVE BARACK ALOOOOONE!!!!

  • ||

    In a sensible country, Obama would be able to clearly define this project without fear of offending the people he needs to get legislation passed.

    a third grade teacher.

  • Rabbit Scribe||

    + .999...

  • ||

    A cheap shot, but a good cheap shot is still a good cheap shot. Merit where it is found.

  • ||

    What have you got against 3rd graders?

  • ||

    Mmm, mmm, mmm!

  • ||

    Come, does anyone really think Obama would be a national figure of any kind in a "sensible country?" Wouldn't a sensible country demand more of a track record from candidates for major office? Wouldn't a sensible country elect a far more rational and far less corrupt Congress? Wouldn't a sensible country with a sensible government focus its energies on recovering from the recession, not on enacting an ill-conceived, unpopular wish list before getting booted out of office?

  • Skid Marx||

    Hugo Cheves likes this.

  • Brett L||

    Everyone knows sensible== right-thinking, tovarich. Report to education center nearest you for remediation.

  • ||

    There might be a sort of "meta-sense" to what the American voters do, taken in the aggregate. Consider the current composition of the three branches. Many voters have had their votes contribute to the current state. The Executive is likely to be in office for a single term, the Legislature is trending to the right, and the Judicial is affected by these elements. Could there possibly be an unconscious sense, operating collectively, that is somewhat analogous to the idea that the universe is increasingly chaotic, but the end of that chaos effects ultimate order?

  • ||

    Matt's making up for all the H&R posters who don't put alt-text on the images. Way to show some editorial leadership!

  • Matt Welch||

    Who's been slacking? NAME NAMES.

  • ||

    Ron! Ron has!

  • ||

    Just to top this, you should do the bling thing to the one of him riding a unicorn.

  • Tomcat1066||

    I'd almost be willing to pay money for that one!

  • ||

    It's funny, but that animated graphic just made me realize that Miley Cyrus will be president some day.

  • ||

    Couldn't be worse than what we have now.

  • ||

    True. Though I shudder to think what the Disneyfication of America bill would do to us.

  • Skid Marx||

    True. Though I shudder to think what the Disneyfication of America bill would do did to us.

    FIFY

  • ||

    Actually, the girl is worth an obscene amount of dough, and probably has the work ethic to go along with it.

    I submit, provided she is developing a sharp business savvy, she is more qualified than our current occupant.

  • Brett L||

    Perhaps, but she has to kill her father in public first to win my vote.

  • ||

    Easy. All she has to do is cut the cord.

    Parasites die without a host.

  • ||

    I'm actually OK with that, as long as Hannah Montana is VP.

  • ||

    Y'all are forgetting her dad. Package deal.

  • ||

    Ack! "The Achy Breaky" Secretary of State....what's he gonna do? Offer the Palestinians the "It's a Small World" ride and Epcot as the Palestinian State? Or jobs at Disney for Norks?

  • Jeffersonian||

    Can you say "mullet bailout?"

  • x,y||

    Hope she gets the MEmo.

  • ||

    yes, I was going to nominate this for Best Alt-text EVA!

  • ||

    OK, I must be getting old, 'cause I don't grok the alt-text.

  • ||

    We live in a country in which many people live in information cocoons in which they only talk to members of their own party and read blogs of their own sect. They come away with perceptions fundamentally at odds with reality, fundamentally misunderstanding the man in the Oval Office.

    So if I read Brooks correctly, he's saying that people incorrectly look at Obama and see what they want to see, but Brooks and Brooks alone can look at Obama and see the truth-- which is that Obama is exactly what Brooks wants him to be.

  • ||

    An astute comment.

  • Tomcat1066||

    You just don't understand! Bring that logic stuff into this!

  • Jordan||

    Just getting this out of the way: that picture is raaaacist!

  • Almanian||

    Racist

  • Almanian||

    As the clearly "moderate" Valerie Jarrett noted, President Obama came to office ready to "begin to rule one day one." Mr. Brooks appears to be of a similar mind if he believes that our President is "a president trying to define a modern brand of moderate progressivism."

    "In a sensible country", one might hope that "journalists" like Mr. Brooks would have recognized that candidate Obama's ideas of governing were "shovel ready" from the get go. But that would have involved engaging in - oh, I don't know - actual journalism or something.

    We don't live in that country.

  • Obama Rainbow Party||

    Yes, Mr. Brooks, we have your RSVP.

  • Fluffy||

    I pretty much am out of gas for the week following my rant[s] at John down-page, but I have to pop in to say:

    Fucking sweeee-eeet graphic, dude.

  • T||

    Which thread, Fluffy? I'm always up for a good rant, and yours are usually pretty choice.

  • ||

    It wasn't a rant as much as it was a cry for help.

  • Barack||

    Hey, these balls don't suck themselves.

  • Paul in NJ||

    HaHaHaHa and as long as David Brooks,EJ Dionne and Joe Klien have lips they will never have to

  • ||

    I honestly don't think Obama has any genitals left. They were completely worn away by the hundreds of journalists who fought over the rare honor and breath-taking priviledge of sexually pleasuring their immortal, super human genius-god.

  • reason||

    Let not the slightest hint of praise for Obama go unchallenged in these pages!

  • ||

    Given that Obama has done as much to merit praise as he did to earn the Nobel Prize, challenging the whimpers of his pie faced sycophants is indicative of having standards.What is good for the SEIU and the racial spoils industry do not count a sstandards

  • Paul in NJ||

    HaHaHaHa and as long as David Brooks,EJ Dionne and Joe Klien have lips they will never have to

  • Joan||

    Odd how to Obama's stooges the Country that was so sensible in Nov 08 is so insensible now, Actually, its the reverse

  • ||

    JW must be old, waterbrothers, if he groks. My lib sister thinks Brooks is the NYT's redeeming conservative writer. She thinks watching Fox News is a sin. I love her, she's very sweet, but they're liberal nuts. Of course, they also work for govt.

  • Danno||

    The problem with people like Brooks is they're mesmerized with words and image, but pay little attention to actions.

    And people like Brooks also think progressive incremental-ism is the same as being a moderate. Obama is smarter and more patient than the rest of the left, but in the end, his goals are the same. Obama is no left-of-center moderate.

  • Jeff Perren||

    The problem with people like Brooks is that their minds are made into mush by Pragmatism, the older cousin of Progressivism.

    See Shaving Leviathan for details.

  • ||

    I read the other day that Obama "always" reads Brooks' columns and "listens to David very carefully". What a hoot! That's like saying the elephant listens carefully to Mr. Peanut. Brooks is the most tepid and deferential of all pundits who are considered to be on the Right. Apparently the Left thinks that because Obama reads Brooks that makes Obama some "fair & balanced" Centrist. Obama is far far (!!!) Left on domestic policy, borrowing/spending, and massive expansion of govt. Just because Obama doesn't have the communist manifesto tatooed on his forhead, Brooks thinks he's a "moderate".

  • ||

    Y'all have to understand that David Brooks' writing is as conservative as the New York Times will tolerate. They fired Ben Stein and Bill Kristol, most likely for being too conservative. If you read carefully, you will see for instance that Brooks opposes Obama on health care and other issues.

  • ||

    Y'all have to understand that David Brooks' writing is as conservative as the New York Times will tolerate. They fired Ben Stein and Bill Kristol, most likely for being too conservative. If you read carefully, you will see for instance that Brooks opposes Obama on health care and other issues.

  • ||

    Bill Kristol is not conservative. Stein is fairly iffy too, even though he rides the ID hobbyhorse pretty well.

  • ||

    I used to devour David Brook's columns. A testament to my varied reading?

    But, no longer. He sounds delusional to those of us who have read him for years, and typically get where he is coming from, whether we agreed or not.

    He's become pitiful. Name calling, right beside the liberal electorate and political appointees. It's shameful. I guess he really does belong with the NY Times, after all.

    We are not in a "bubble," David. You are.

  • Geoff||

    I am sorry to admit this in print, but 10 years or so ago, I thought Tom Friedman was a reasonably bright guy. Since that time, he has degenerated, to be polite. I see the same slope of the line for David Brooks. A very smart guy whose thought patterns are beginning to affect his judgement. I agree with the sentiment expressed here that there is congruence between the ideas of President Obama and David Brooks, which I believe makes Mr. Brooks center left, or a progressive in training.

  • alan||

    Brooks was on the NewsHour several months ago talking about the administration's handling of an issue, the closing of Gitmo it happened to be. He reported his administration insider describing the processes they use to govern. The officials were divided into debating camps with Obama serving as a moderator. Each side presented their arguments, Obama questioned both teams individually, with an exchange going back and forth until a consensus was built.

    In other words, Brooks' insider told him exactly what his little wonk mind wanted to hear, and fed him a line of pure, unfiltered bullshit.

    You need to grow up, David. Laughing at you is not as fun as it use to be before this administration really hit its stride.

  • David B||

    So what really happened? You obviously must have been there...

  • alan||

    Do you really need to see the inside of a barrel of nuclear waste, or are you going to trust your Geiger counter?

    Assuming your detector is primed, of course.

  • ||

    Mr, Welch,

    Great analysis. As a moderate independent, I have been amazed at the number of articles that Brooks has written trying to paint Obama as a centrist, when he is as far left as they come. I'm a centrist and am very displeased with the direction that this administration and this congress are trying to take this country. I am part of the group that punished Republicans in recent years, in no small way because of spending - you can imagine how I feel about spending now. I look forward to November - not that I think Republicans are any great prize, but we can use them in the short run to stop this left wing nonsense.

  • Tony||

    How is Obama "as far left as they come"?

    Because he supports having the most right-wing healthcare system in the industrialized world?

  • Tim||

    No, because he supports the most left-wing healthcare system we've ever had, and if he could really have his way we'd have a British or Canadian system.

  • Tony||

    And how horrible would that be, having a superior healthcare system.

    So he's the most leftwing person imaginable because of what you assume is going on inside his head, rather than his actions in the real world. Got it.

  • T||

    Missed that whole section on action vs. words up top, didn't you Tony?

  • ||

    Folks - by your comments you have proved Brook's thesis - you all live in an alternate reality world. Do any of you ever come up for air and chat with a moderate, or - dread the thought - a liberal? I doubt it!

    The biggest reason why I despise folks like you and the Tea Partiers is that you are afraid to try your ideas out in the marketplace. Instead you hang out together and reinforce each other's delusions.

  • ||

    Why do you want to control me?

  • Fred Durst||

    Because control is all the world has ever seen lately.

  • ||

    Mike 3.12.10 4:25 - I debate a liberal I work with frequently, especially on health care. Fact is, logic wise he always loses and ends with "well you are more well read on the topic" as if all that is wrong with his case is that he doesn't have time to read up. He's all about feeling good about spending other peoples money to benefit others, while he personally tries to minimize his tax exposure. Thing is, he hears a distorted stat on MSNBC and takes it as gospel. If I hear something on TV, I research it myself and get data from the census or labor bureau or CBO. So who's really living in the alternative world?

  • ||

    Brooks article was right on target. Obama has increased defense spending, expanded our role in Afghanistan, cut taxes, and pursued a healthcare reform agenda that has infuriated the far left, which wants single payer/Medicare for all.

    So he is far from the Bolshevik boogeyman the far right would believe him to be.

    Bear in mind nothing he has done holds a candle to what Bush did from a budget perspective. These deficits were already coming and once you add the impact of the crisis to that, Obama's policies are peanuts. Bush's Medicare Part D created a $15 trillion unfunded liability, nearly twice the size of Social Security. Even if Obama's entire wish list were implemented, he would have less long-term impact on the deficit than that.

  • Palimpsest||

    You Free Republic types sicken me with your narrow Abraxian dichotomy. No matter how much you try to make Bush a still relevant factor, it is not going to convince anyone.

  • Tony||

    Is there something factually incorrect in David D.'s post?

    In what universe is it rational to think that every single problem in the country is the fault of whoever is sitting in the white house right this moment? The universe in which all you care about is piling on Obama, the failures and legacy of Bush being a distraction from that?

  • alan||

    Was that you above, Tony under David B.? Damn, I was hoping it was the real DB, trying to keep it real and everything.

    BTW, I think you missed the point of the above post. No mind reader, but freeper?

  • Tony||

    I assumed he meant New Republic.

  • alan||

    Nah. Who reads that?

    I didn't think it worth mentioning before as it was too obvious, but his complaint about the prescription drug benefit under Bush. Are the two of you really going to pretend you oppose that subsidy?

  • alan||

    For a minute I forgot, you are an irony troll, too. So that does make sense. Carry on.

  • ||

    David D.... You are correct but that logic will never sink into rightwing Rush Limbaughs'dittoheads [dittohead definition mindless follower. Here it can be faithful liseners of Rush Limbaugh]

  • ||

    "and pursued a healthcare reform agenda that has infuriated the far left, which wants single payer/Medicare for all"

    Obama wants single payer. He's said so many times, just not since he was elected. This is incremental, to get government in charge, sneaking it through. It's a Marxist tactic. He knows he can't do it in one fell swoop. We know better than to believe these disingenuous claims that he's not after single payer. We heard it from his own mouth. Do you still think you can fool us?

    "Bear in mind nothing he has done holds a candle to what Bush did from a budget perspective."

    Your "it's George Bush's fault" mantra is archaic and worn out. Obama has done nothing but increase spending and the deficit. His Congress has raised the debt limit twice in a few months to accommodate his spending. He's gone way beyond Bush spending. When will he ever accept responsibility for his actions? In 2012, if he runs, we'll still be hearing about the mess he inherited, no doubt.

  • tms||

    Matt -- You live in a cocoon and you only listen to people who agree with you.

    -David Brooks

  • ||

    Welch writes, "We're all entitled to our own man-crushes–-heck, I think Jeff Flake's a dreamboat."

    This view discredits Welch as a fair-minded or balanced observer of politics. Why? Because Flake is the most extreme conservative in Congress.

    Keith Poole and Howard Rosenthal's ideological scores, properly called NOMINATE scores, place Flake at the extreme conservative pole (.999). No one has a higher conservative score than he has.

    So anyone who thinks the world of Rep. Flake is not viewing politics from a moderate perspective.

  • ||

    "Because Flake is the most extreme conservative in Congress."

    Huh? What do political preferences have to do with being considered a "dreamboat"?

  • Marc||

    The mind boggles.

  • T||

    This view discredits Welch as a fair-minded or balanced observer of politics.

    I must have missed the part where Matt said he was fair-minded or balanced. Could somebody point that out for me?

  • ||

    Seems to be some confusion on what is far right vs. far left.

    Bush 41 (the father) was a Center-Right Republican who raised taxes famously. Eisenhower was a Center-Right Republican who built the highway system, a huge "big government" program and who warned against overgrown military establishments.

    The Republican Party today has drifted so far right that the Democrats are able to have a full and fair debate all by themselves, from far left to center right. Per my post above, many of Obama's actions are right of center, such as with defense spending.

    With a strict ideology of big defense spending, tax cuts, and small government, the new conservatives have pushed themselves out of the mainstream. Why? No economy can sustain nearly $800 billion per year in defense and security spending; it must come down.

    We've got 77 million Boomers about to retire, which the conservative Heritage Foundation says will add about 2.3% of GDP to spending over the next 10 years. Even Paul Ryan is not talking about changing benefits for those close to retirement.

    So taxes are going up.

    The only place where there may be some overlap is on "smaller government" but that isn't much considering Medicare, Social Security, Defense and Interest are 70% of the budget. Small government is a nice philosophy, but out of step with our changing demographics, carbon irresponsibility, and skewed income distribution.

  • Jeff Perren||

    "The Republican Party today has drifted so far right"

    Ha ha, ha ha, ha ha... Funniest post I've read in days. To a Progressive anyone to 'the right' of Trotsky is 'far right.'

    Some day I hope I'll be able to divine the standard by which Progressives place individuals on their spectrum.

    There are perhaps a half dozen Republicans in Congress who oppose the existence of and are willing to morally object to Medicare, Social Security, the EPA, the DOJ, the DoE, the HHS, and the thousand other insults that Madison and Jefferson would puke over to see in the country today.

    Even most of them are keeping quiet about it, lest people wag their fingers at 'the mean Republicans who want to poor to die in the streets'.

  • ||

    David D - nice to see you end with the skewed income distribution fallacy, underscores your acceptance of lefty narratives. Fact is the famed bottom 20/ top 20 income gap reflects that people earn different amounts at different times. If you track that bottom 20 from this year, the vast majority of them will spend time in the top 20 percent during their careers and then reenter the lower 20 percent in retirement. My parents certainly reflected this in their lives, while they are currently in the lower 20 percent in earnings, they have a large home and a second lake home and are not for want of health care or necessities. I am in the top percentages for earnings, but my wealth is nowhere near that of my parents in the bottom 20. Thomas Sowell covers this topic in detail in Economic Facts and Fallacies, it is a very informative read and well cited.

  • ||

    David D - nice to see you end with the skewed income distribution fallacy, underscores your acceptance of lefty narratives. Fact is the famed bottom 20/ top 20 income gap reflects that people earn different amounts at different times. If you track that bottom 20 from this year, the vast majority of them will spend time in the top 20 percent during their careers and then reenter the lower 20 percent in retirement. My parents certainly reflected this in their lives, while they are currently in the lower 20 percent in earnings, they have a large home and a second lake home and are not for want of health care or necessities. I am in the top percentages for earnings, but my wealth is nowhere near that of my parents in the bottom 20. Thomas Sowell covers this topic in detail in Economic Facts and Fallacies, it is a very informative read and well cited.

  • ||

    "The Republican Party today has drifted so far right that the Democrats are able to have a full and fair debate all by themselves, from far left to center right."

    I'm just wondering how far left to center right is a full spectrum.

    "With a strict ideology of big defense spending, tax cuts, and small government, the new conservatives have pushed themselves out of the mainstream."

    We need all these things. We should spend even more on defense. If Obama spends a little more (and it's very little) on defense, he's not spending enough on that. Government's chief constitutional responsibilities are defense and small government. We should always have the most powerful, best equipped military in the world. It's the socialist entitlement programs that make people slaves to government that we should cut.

  • ||

    "We've got 77 million Boomers about to retire, which the conservative Heritage Foundation says will add about 2.3% of GDP to spending over the next 10 years. Even Paul Ryan is not talking about changing benefits for those close to retirement."

    Socialist Democrats created massive entitlement programs that make people slaves of government. The government has stolen people's income all their lives to fund them, with the promise they'll be taken care of in their old age, and then when the average worker retires, he gets back a pittance. Democrats created this problem, and never put the money away in the promised "lockbox", nor earned interest on the taxes for the people forced to participate, but spent the money in the general fund, so it became a huge Ponzi scheme.

    So after the government screwed everyone like this, the answer is to raise taxes to cover it. Go figure. It's nothing but tyranny.

  • ||

    I'm still trying to understand David Brooks article? What dimension does he live in, and how did his article get into ours? In my dimension Obama is still pursuing spending a billion dollars for circus trials for the murdering terrorists who planned 9/11. In my dimension Obama has refused to compromise or even involve Republicans except in a media show, and cobbled together the most massive corrupt radical left wing healthcare bill through massive corrupt vote buying, and apparently nude intimidation, if you believe anything Democrat Congressman Massa had to say. In my Dimension Obama is letting Iran race toward its goals of getting a nuclear missle arsenal while he doesn't want to meddle as Iranians like Neda are gunned down in the streets. In my Dimension Obama had them read the underwear bomber his right to be silent 50 minutes after he got off the plane, and only had them even ask him questions nearly a month later after flying his family to the U.S., first class, to beg him to cooperate. In my dimension Obama is the most radical left wing Present in our history, whose moderate teleprompter speeches ring more false and hollow day by day. In Mr. Brooks dimension time and reality must be distorted. Possibly he only sees the moderate pragmatic candidate Obama presented himself to be before he was sworn into office. Possibly in Mr. Brooks dimension only Obama's teleprompter speeches are delivered while reality is carefully hidden away! Mr. Brooks in in for a real shock like the rest of us if reality every intrudes into the dimension where he clearly lives a protected existence!

  • ||

    "In my dimension Obama is the most radical left wing Present in our history..."

    Riiiiiiight. Let me guess, your dimension begins and ends with Fox News.

    I hate to break this to you, but Obama's not too far left of Nixon or Reagan. And, yes I was around to know. In fact, until the GOP finally lost all grip on reality this past year, I was a lifetime Republican.

    I cannot tell you how sad it is to see a great party drive itself into the gutter. And I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to have to turn to the (Blue Dog) Democrats to find a conservative worthy of the name.

  • ||

    What part of the left wing bowels of the net just linked here?

  • ||

    I was thinking the same thing.

    "Hi! You don't know us and we never come here, so do you mind if we spew forth vapid, shop worn ideas that have been beaten like so many dead horses for the past couple months on your site? We'd like to think these are orginal, meaningful and tangible ideas."

  • Indierock||

    Most of the thread of ranting and hyperbolic comments attached to this article represent the very cocoon...the very echo chamber...that Brooks referred to. Those who never seek balance will remain on the margins.

  • ||

    "Those who never seek balance will remain on the margins."

    I prefer think of it more as 'edgy'.

  • ||

    indierock...with a handle like that, you have to be what? 18? 19?

  • Indierock||

    Gee whiz...with a "handle" like JW, you must be from Dallas...right?

  • ||

    David Brooks tries to defend conservatives when he debates brilliant Mark Shields in Jim Lehrer News hour. He now realizes that there are no capable leader in the Republican party and no one can match President Obama in 2012.

  • ||

    We won't need a Republican leader to challenge Obama in 2012. He's such a disaster Hillary will challenge him to save the Democratic party in 2012! Hillary 2012!!!!!!

  • ||

    valwayne: I doubt that. I see David Brooks every week trying to defend conservative when debating with Mark Shields in Jim Lehrer News Hour. It looks like David Brooks who criticizes Pres. Obama, has himself come out of "information cocoon" and now appreciates President Obama's successes that even President Bill Clinton or previous presidents cannot match. His success will not be appreciated by many until some years from now. President Obama's major success is getting rid of terrorists in Afganistan that information cocoon media don't dare talk or write about. On economy front he has avoided depression like that off 1929 that is much greater achievement that history books will write about in future.

  • ||

    "On economy front he has avoided depression like that off 1929 that is much greater achievement that history books will write about in future."

    Right. And Bush prevented New York City from getting nuked. Ain't alternate universes fun?

  • ||

    "On economy front he has avoided depression like that off 1929 that is much greater achievement that history books will write about in future."

    Certainly that's the way the politically liberal history professors will portray it in books, even as you are now portraying it, and all the liberal media portrays it, but that still won't make it true.

  • ||

    David Brooks is a conservative and he correct that many right wingers live in information cocoon.Rush Limbaugh uses the word "dittoheads". Definition: mindless listners. Here Dittoheads are faithful liseners of Rush Limbaugh.

  • Tomcat1066||

    Someone here listens to Rush Limbaugh for reasons other than to mock him? Damn. I'm honestly shocked.

    Please cite your references.

  • ||

    It's funny to see so many people that don't understand the basic issue at the center of the health care debate. It doesn't matter if it's Brooks, Klein, or the people posting comments in the thread.

    The issue is freedom. I personally want the freedom to decide everything possible about my own health care. I don't trust the government, you, or anyone to make a better decision than I can freely make.

    The shocking aspect of the debate to me is how many Americans don't trust their own judgement, and don't value their own freedom of action enough to want to avoid some government bureaucrat isolated in the nation's capital making decisions for them.

    It's just shocking. I'll get over my shock though and figure out a way to make money off people with such simple minds and low self-confidence.

  • ||

    It's funny to see so many people that don't understand the basic issue at the center of the health care debate. It doesn't matter if it's Brooks, Klein, or the people posting comments in the thread.

    The issue is freedom. I personally want the freedom to decide everything possible about my own health care. I don't trust the government, you, or anyone to make a better decision than I can freely make.

    The shocking aspect of the debate to me is how many Americans don't trust their own judgement, and don't value their own freedom of action enough to want to avoid some government bureaucrat isolated in the nation's capital making decisions for them.

    It's just shocking. I'll get over my shock though and figure out a way to make money off people with such simple minds and low self-confidence.

  • ||

    Dave your obviously a youngster. I stopped being shocked decades ago. I'm 49. Our fellow citizens, since our founding socialist FDR told them, believe the government exists to solve their problems, not stay out of the way so they can solve them.

  • Indierock||

    In the above comment, Dave says:

    "The issue is freedom. I personally want the freedom to decide everything possible about my own health care. I don't trust the government, you, or anyone to make a better decision than I can freely make."

    All well and good to have total freedom to do as you please...as long as it does not effect or impinge on the freedoms of others. So...for example, you're freedom to go without health care is fine as long as you stay healthy. Otherwise, others pick up your emergency room tab.

  • ||

    "So...for example, you're[sic] freedom to go without health care is fine as long as you stay healthy. Otherwise, others pick up your emergency room tab."

    I love that little canard.
    I don't have health insurance, and have never been to an emergency room.
    I go to the local small town doctor when necessary, just like my parents and their parents. I pay cash, just like they did.
    I don't accept treatment I can't pay for.
    Somehow the Dems have convinced a lot of people that health insurance equals health, and that a doctor's knowledge and skills are public property.

  • Indierock||

    Ah...the good old days...of small towns and Dr. Welby. Well the little canard costs a ton...and when you get in a serious car crash and get sirened to the hospital, I hope they will somehow find your note that says "please don't treat me, I can't pay for it". Oh...and also, I can't imagine there are any poor Republicans in the ER...just those silly "Dems".

  • ||

    "I don't have health insurance, and have never been to an emergency room.

    I go to the local small town doctor when necessary, just like my parents and their parents. I pay cash, just like they did.

    I don't accept treatment I can't pay for."

    When they force National Health Care on us, you won't have the option to do that. Just like in Canada and UK, it will be illegal to not participate in the government program, and it will be illegal to pay on your own. That's what's coming.

    And, of course, it will no longer be your option to accept or reject treatment. They will decide what treatment you get or don't get, based on cost to the government.

    Of course, they're doing it for our own good.

  • Indierock||

    Not only wrong, but absurd. Both the UK and Canada have PRIVATE health care facilities, in addition to public systems. Sure, you pay into the public system, but PRIVATE health care is there if you want to access it. Nothing illegal about it....

    And by the way, my sister and her family have lived in the UK for over 20 years. When my sister needed some cartilage removed from a shoulder...sure, she had to wait 3 weeks for the procedure. However, when her daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor, she had outstandinging treatment and surgery IMMEDIATELY.

    Get it straight....The US health care system has absolutely nothing on the Canadian and UK systems. An in Canada and the UK, EVERYONE has access to health care. Personally, I wouldn't mind waiting a few weeks to get some cartilage removed if it means 30 million more Americans have access to the health care system.

  • mark||

    Get it straight....The US health care system has absolutely nothing innovation, efficiency, and service on the Canadian and UK systems

  • Zeus King of the Gods||

    indie, that's some of the stupidest logic addressing freedom.

  • Indierock||

    Zeus...King of Gods...for heaven's sake, please tell me you have health insurance...please. Cause if you show up at the ER seeking treatment without any cash to pay for it, we're really in trouble.

    Oh, and Zeus...please don't tell me your freedoms are being lost...please don't. Because in reality...you have freedoms all around you, you are awash in freedoms. You just happen to live in the greatest, free-est country on Earth. Stop complaining about your lost freedoms, Zeus...I beg of you...please!

  • ||

    Indierock sez: "Otherwise, others pick up your emergency room tab."

    Oh yeah? Says who? You? Speaking for me?

    I'd rather check outta the earth-frame altogether rather than let an AFL-CIO nurse-mope poke at me as the skilled and compassionate staff prepares to subject my quaking body to the latest Immelt Dream frankenstein contraption @ the rate of 8-thousand $ an hour only to discover (oh no!) that whatever I got was incurable anyway. No thanks. A lot.

    This cosmos was better when medicine was an Art.

    O Death where is thy sting!

  • Indierock||

    OK...but we will take care of incredibly weird, but inspirational poets like you in our ERs. Simply must keep you alive...even without your cash.

  • ||

    Mr. Welch's commentary is on target. I was going to comment on Mr. Brooks' blog, but NY Times already closed the comments. I was glad to see the inclusion here of the killing of the Washington DC school voucher program, which proves against the "education reform" of Obama.

    Brooks blames what's wrong with Obama on us. We're not a sensible country, and we live in information cocoons. His accusation is actually true of himself, living in the NY Times cocoon.

    He calls Obama's attempt to nationailze health care "a program that... moderately tinkers with the status quo". Never mind the fact that it's actually a radical government takeover of health care.

    He boasts of Obama's "courage not seen since George W. Bush took on the anti-immigration forces in his own party". Never mind the fact that it contains the built-in lie, always used by these propagandists, that we are anti-immigration. They always leave the "illegal" part of it out.

    He says Obama "has emerged as a liberal hawk, pursuing victory in Iraq and adopting an Afghan surge" trying to credit Obama as if he's a master strategist, even though in Iraq he's only continuing already set Bush policy and strategy, and it took him months of dithering on more troops in Afghanistan, trying to weigh political consequences at home, and finally not giving McChrystal all he asked for.

    What Brooks failed to include in his whitewash painting of Obama, and in his supposed conservative Republican and liberal Democrat views of Obama, is what Obama actually is: a Marxist who hates what this country is; it's history and principles and precepts, it's capitalist economic system, it's cruel imperialism (in his belief) robbing the rest of the world of its wealth and greedily sucking it up, its Constitution, that guarantees protection from government intrusion into our personal liberty and from government control of our lives, and the American exceptionalism, and unique in the world freedom, that has made us the best country in the world.

    He believes The United States is basically a bad, evil force in the world, that it has no right to be better than others, and that it needs to be brought down to the level of others, by making reparations to the rest of the world, which, he believes, it has raped.

    He believes in global governance, and that we should be subject to it and lose our national sovereignty. He wasn't kidding when he said in his victory speech in November 2008 that he was going to fundamentally transform The United States, and he thinks he has a right, and a mandate, to do that.

    And Brooks calls him "the most realistic and reasonable major player in Washington".

    Because people like Brooks agree with the Obama agenda, and try to mislead us who are not "sensible" with flowery phrases and sneaky, liberal propaganda. And they think they can get away with it.

    But we who live in the "information cocoon" of the Constitution and the God-given freedom that is The United States reject his "modern brand of moderate progressivism", and will never submit to its tyranny.

  • Indierock||

    OK Eric, climb off the soap box for a minute or two, and take a few deep breaths. Then give some thought to what it will take to get you back from the far fringe of reality. Because...I'm telling you, when you stay on that far fringe, the bitterness sets in, and the long, cold nights become longer and colder. The only answer is to find balance and insist on the seeking of common ground...the only answer.

  • ||

    There is no common ground with Marxism and those who would enslave us.

  • Indierock||

    Oh, please. If for you there is no common ground, but only hyperbole...then the far fringe is where you belong. A cold, drak place indeed....

  • ||

    This may be hard for people who believed in Obama to grasp but he does not care about you, me or any of us. He cares about himself, his allies and nobody else. He does not care about creating a better smaller government nor helping people out of poverty, providing school choice and limiting the cost of HC. He cares about power.

  • Indierock||

    Wow...he doesn't care about any of us...not one...nada...really? Imagine that, a President who cares about no one at all. Must be a terrible, pitiful joke for you to endure...especially for 3 more years. Maybe a start is for you to stop believing you own hyperbole and rant.

  • ||

    On one of the early 80's "Firingline" programs,I saw and heard Henry Kissinger tell William F. Buckley that, since the conclusion of WW2, there had been a concerted global determination to reduce the status of the U.S.A. to that of a "peer among equals." The American Spirit is a step in spiritual evolution.

  • RichN||

    I wish Brooks or any "moderate progressive" for that matter could tell us what this means exactly.

    "We are the ones we've been waiting for"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=molWTfv8TYw

    I'm kind of shocked Brooks didn't use a term like "post-modern progressive" instead of "moderate progressive".

    I mean isn't that the typical drivel those who've been waiting for themselves use in their bizarro-world bubble speak?

  • Indierock||

    OK…here is what it means exactly...a “Moderate” is one whose opinions and views are within reasonable or proper limits; not extreme, excessive, or intense. “Progressive” is favoring or advocating progress, change, improvement, or reform, as opposed to wishing to maintain things as they are.

    Look it up...

    I wish you could tell us what "bizarro-world bubble speak" means exactly. No...better yet, just look up the definition of "hyperbole".

  • RichN||

    So "moderate progressives" are "the ones" moderate progressives have been waiting for?

    Bizarro-world bubble speak = "We are the ones we've been waiting for"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=molWTfv8TYw

    Please do elaborate Indie. Who are the "we" in "we are the ones we've been waiting for"?

    We who?
    We the sufferers of NPD?
    We the morons?
    We the moderate progressives?
    We who believe words speak LOUDER than actions?
    We the sufferers of BDS?
    We who live in the 57 states?

    Does one has to go to Harvard to understand that nonsensical campaign drivel? Perhaps one just has to be a moron or a sheep to understand it? Or perhaps one just has to be David Brooks?

  • Indierock||

    Like I say...look up the definition of "hyperbole".

  • ||

    David Brooks seems to find a way to cozy up to whomever is in the White House. He defended George W. Bush a lot until there was no more defending. He has claimed to be a conservative at different times. Somehow I doubt his bona fides on that assertion.

    Most of what he mentions is SPEECH and not ACTION. And when he does mention something Obama actually has done, it usually involves something where he tried the stupid liberal way first,but was suddenly faced with reality. Take Afghanistan for example. Obama hemmed and hawed for months and finally agreed to what the military had been telling him. He took their path because he knew to do otherwise was political suicide with the wider electorate. On health care, Obama was all for a public option or single payer system for the U.S. Any sane person knows that a national health service is economically unsustainable for this country. But politics often intrudes on judgments of what is best for the nation. What many who support single payer don't realize is that once it is in place there will cease to be private health care available to most people. All those charity programs and free care at large teaching hospitals will be a thing of the past. The sole provider of medical services will be the government. At this point, a person without insurance has different options for getting care like those mentioned above. And for those with insurance, there is the ability to get second opinions and go to many different medical facilities throughout the country. With a national health service, geography will decide where you see a doctor and when. And if you want to go elsewhere and get other treatments and opinions, there won't be any. The government will have chased them all out of business. Call it death panels or whatever else you choose, but this essentially is rationing of care;the gov't inherently makes judgments on political grounds. If you are a little too old, don't have enough education, are the wrong race or ethnic group or live in areas that vote against the party controlling the government. People think socialized medicine is getting something for nothing. They couldn't be more wrong. It means giving up the fundamental freedom to direct your own health care.

  • Quek||

    You voted for him. You voted for a socialist. Your children are expendable to the democrat party. If they have to be thrown aside like garbage, then throw your children aside, your party should be more important than the life of your child; as a democrat that is. So remember next election, you are a democrat, you only vote democrat. Your children are property of the democrat party to be used as needed. You are on their plantation. No leaving the plantation.

  • ||

    I wonder if Brooks ever looks in the mirror and blushes (from shame, not self-approbation). Maybe, but not very often. As the NYT fishwrap's pet "conservative" he must be fairly well paid.

  • ||

    Progressives reflexively view political issues from the perspective of what "feels" appropriate. They are idealists who campaign as pragmatists. Who doesn't feel good about electing an idealist. Isn't that what makes that tingle go up your leg? In any event, to paraphrase the late Lee Marvin....I owe progressives an apology. I used to think that you were cold, tight-lipped, unimaginative people. But you are really quite emotional.

    Aren't you...

  • ||

    I think that after David Brooks gets finished writing a column about Obama, he probably stays sitting at his desk for at least 20 minutes thinking about dead puppies.

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  • sathi2000||

    In a sensible country, people would see Obama as a president trying to define a modern brand of moderate progressivism. In a sensible country, Obama would be able to clearly define this project without fear of offending the people he needs to get legislation passed.
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  • Austin Remodeling Companies||

    Oh,please.If for you there is no common ground, but only hyperbole...then the far fringe is where you belong. A cold, drake place indeed..Thank.

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    People think Obama is not doing a good job but I think differently. Good job Obama.

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