Bobos in Limbo


In the aftermath of the bailout vote, David "National Greatness" Brooks throws a tantrum

let us recognize above all the 228 who voted no — the authors of this revolt of the nihilists. They showed the world how much they detest their own leaders and the collected expertise of the Treasury and Fed. They did the momentarily popular thing, and if the country slides into a deep recession, they will have the time and leisure to watch public opinion shift against them.

House Republicans led the way and will get most of the blame….If this economy slides, they will go down in history as the Smoot-Hawleys of the 21st century.

So if you stand up for a principle, you're a nihilist; and if you refrain from passing an enormous new intervention after a Wall Street crash, you're reenacting Smoot-Hawley. Welcome to the worldview of a man who prefers "the collected expertise of the Treasury and Fed" to the dispersed expertise of traders in the market, a wise crowd screaming to us that some inflated prices need to come down and some bloated companies need to fail.

Brooks did get one thing right:

What's sad is that they still think it's 1984. They still think the biggest threat comes from socialism and Walter Mondale liberalism.

Forget Marx and Mondale. At the moment, the biggest threat to economic liberty comes from people like Hank Paulson, George Bush, and David Brooks.