Obama Administration

David Brooks' Paean to Presidential Power Is Year's Worst Op-Ed

You'd think it's nearly April Fools' Day, not Christmas.


For four years running, I've closed the holiday season with a column saying "bah, humbug" to the year's worst op-eds. Christmas came early this year, thanks to perennial contender David Brooks. In Thursday's New York Times, Brooks offered a bold panacea for the problems of our time: We need to "Strengthen the Presidency."

It might strike you as counterintuitive to imagine that a president with a drone fleet, a "kill list," dragnet databases of Americans' personal information and increasingly arbitrary authority over health care's one-sixth of the U.S. economy has too little power—but that's how you know you're in the presence of an original thinker.

Luckily, there's "a way out": "Make the executive branch more powerful." What that would mean for entitlements and tax reform isn't at all clear, but Brooks follows that prescription with this spit-take-inducing sentence: "This is a good moment to advocate greater executive branch power because we've just seen a monumental example of executive branch incompetence: the botched Obamacare rollout." We suffer from "reform stagnation," Brooks laments. It's too hard to push through "immigration reformtax reformentitlement reform and gun legislation" via the archaic "Schoolhouse Rock!" method outlined in Article I of the Constitution.

"It's important to advocate greater executive branch power in a chastened mood," you see. Brooks teaches a class on "humility" at Yale, so he's an expert on this stuff.

When you make arguments of this caliber, it's clear you've got plenty to be humble about. Brooks' case for ceding yet more power to the executive is a crashing non sequitur—irrelevant to the governance problems we have.

Awarding President Obama "the Worst Year in Washington," the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza runs through the litany of scandals: IRS targeting of Tea Party groups; Edward Snowden's exposure of massive NSA spying; administration dissembling over Benghazi; and the "complete failure" of the federal health insurance exchange rollout. Which of these, exactly, is a result of too little power in the presidency?

Brooks argues that more executive power means "more discretion [for executive branch officials] to respond to their screw-ups, like the Obamacare implementation." But, as the Post's Ezra Klein points out, Obama isn't even using the powers he already has to address that failure: "Somewhere in this chain of colossal, consequential screwups, there are surely a few people who deserve to be fired."

Congress argues endlessly, Brooks complains, but it's "possible to mobilize the executive branch to come to policy conclusion on something like immigration reform."

True: As Professor Jonathan Turley recently testified before the House Judiciary Committee, Obama did just that in 2012 with a "transparent effort to rewrite the immigration law after the failure to pass the Dream Act containing some of the same reforms." Turley warned that similar efforts to reshape the No Child Left Behind Act and issue "royal dispensations" to legislative deadlines in the Affordable Care Act suggest that our system is being "fundamentally transformed into something vastly different from the intentions of the Framers."

So, Brooks is describing the regime we already have: one in which the president reshapes the law by unilateral diktat. Has that made federal policy any more predictable or rational?

Regardless, more of the same is on the way, judging by former Clinton Chief of Staff John Podesta's return to the White House. As head of the Center for American Progress, Podesta helped write CAP's 2010 monograph "The Power of the President," urging Obama to "concentrate[e] on executive powers" instead of "the unappetizing process of making legislative sausage."

"It's a good idea to be tolerant of executive branch power grabs," Brooks insists. Our tolerance may be sorely tested in the months to come.

This column originally appeared on the Washington Examiner.

NEXT: Photographic Proof of Obama's Lack of Transparency

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  1. What a shitty Photoshop job, at least get the light coming from the same direction.

    1. Tony|12.17.13 @ 10:15AM|#
      "The charity fairy is not a legitimate contribution to this debate."

      Pretty sure that was intentional; shitty subject, shitty hob.

  2. thanks to Gene for reading David Brooks so we don't have to.

    1. He's the writer we need, not the writer we deserve.

      1. He's the writer we need if we're poisoned, anyway.

      2. Sometimes a good batman reference goes un appreciated.

    2. Still no match for Michelle Malkin's classic in defense of internment camps.

      1. Nice combo of the non sequitur and the ad hominem,

  3. It might strike you as counterintuitive to imagine that a president with a drone fleet, a "kill list," dragnet databases of Americans' personal information and increasingly arbitrary authority over health care's one-sixth of the U.S. economy has too little power?but that's how you know you're in the presence of an original thinker.

    What evs. Compared to Stalin, his hands are completely tied. If he could be as 'ruthlessly efficient' as he wanted to be, the results would be nothing short of phenomenal, like the Apocalypse phenomenal.

    1. ..."but that's how you know you're in the presence of an original thinker."...

      Louis XIV? Him?

  4. If only we had a dictator, all our problems would be solved!

    1. We're just one Erm?chtigungsgesetz short of utopia.

      1. Man, did the Nazis ruin some truly inspiring cultural mysticism from Germany's first age or what? Wait, that doesn't mean rune quest. Action . . . enabling . . . ah shit, I take it back!

  5. David Brooks should have a mental disease named after him.

    1. Brookstardation?

    2. Why not just give him a segment on NPR alongside E.J. Dionne? Now that's something even I could get behind.

      1. He's already the "conservative" viewpoint on PBS Newshour.

        1. "He's" already the "conservative" "viewpoint" on PBS "News"hour.


          1. Hey, the "He's" a bit much. The rest of course is spot on.

            1. Unlike women, you have to earn manhood.

              1. True. In many cultures, when a woman mensturates, she has been considered a woman. Men, on the other hand, have to go through certain trials to prove thier own manhood.

      2. I'm not sure anyone with any intelligence whatsoever could possibly survive listening to that much concentrated DERP at the same time. Not without their heads exploding anyway.

    3. At this point, it's clear, David Brooks is a Cylon. I hope nobody gives him the DOD's access code or we're completely screwed.

  6. OT: Sloopy just sent this out about the Bowl Week Pick 'em!

    It's at Yahoo Sports:

    "Group ID#: 20897
    Password: reason

    Tell your friends! I've been buried at work but will be free in another week to get the shit-talking started in earnest. Until then, please pass the word on the H&R that I'm still alive, as is the Reason H&R Bowl Pick Em!"

    1. Carolina and Miami in the Superbowl. You heard it here first.

      1. Incorrect. The Sooperbowl will feature the Seahawks and Broncos.

        1. I will give you the Seahawks. But you know Manning is going to spit the bit in the playoffs. I mean it is his move.

          1. Exactly. Chiefs win it all this year. I will probably shed tears of joy.

            It is known.

            1. I refuse to believe. But I don't think they are going out easy this year. And I also think it is well neigh impossible to beat a good team three times in a year even if you do have the better team. It is just not how the NFL works. If I were Denver I would feel better if I had lost one of the games to Kansas City.

              1. I just pray to Allah, Flying Spaghetti Monster, Yaweh, and Richard Dawkins that we call some double high safety coverage in that game (and that will be the game that decides the AFC).

                Fortunately, we can always count on Manning to choke when the action gets big.

        2. There is no bang for your betting buck with that safe bet, HA. If I really want to get a return on that investment, I'd also take Miami over Carolina.

          1. I will give you a better long shot choice.

            49ers Ravens in a rematch from last year.

            The 49ers get hot and go into Seattle and win. Meanwhile the Ravens pound the Bengals in the first round, send Manning home crying again in the second round and have just enough experience and savy to upset the Chiefs, who beat Indy and upset a crippled Patriots team, at Arrowhead.

            The NFL is so screwy that scenario wouldn't surprise me. The Ravens just keep winning even though they shouldn't.

            1. That is true. Somehow though, the pool calculations have them up over my match up. Probably due to the sentiments of people not following very closely, and just betting based on the results from last year.

              1. I think Seattle is probably a safe bet. If you had to take a team from the NFC other than them, I don't see how it is anyone but the 49ers. No one in the NFC East or North is a threat. That leaves Carolina and New Orleans. New Orleans can't win on the road. And I guess Carolina is probably the best of the long shots, though I think the 49ers are the only team that has any chance to go into Seattle and win.

                On the AFC side, as much as I hate to jinx it, I think the Chiefs might be the smart money play. No one believes in them so you should get about the same odds as you do from taking Miami but you are getting a better team for the money. Pretty much anything can happen in the AFC.

                1. John, Arizona could win in Seattle.

                  Bruce Arians has been looking like Michael Douglas in Falling Down. I know of no more surefire and badass way to scare the everloving fuck out of that dbag Pete Carrol.

                  1. But I don't think Arizona is making the playoffs Sudden. Don't the loser of Carolina New Orleans and the 49ers have both the wildcards pretty much sown up?

                    1. If Arizona wins at SEA and home against CAR, they need either the niners or Panthers to lose both games. The problem is that both the niners and the panthers have the falcons left as one of the remaining games.

                    2. No. The Panthers play New Orleans this weekend. So the Panthers must have Arizona and New Orleans left.

                    3. My bad, I meant if they beat SEA on the road and SF at home.

                    4. Drew threw a clinic that first game against Carolina after coming off of a rough game with Seattle. I was almost thinking they were going to gun it for revenge going back into Seattle for the playoffs, but then to see them get crushed Sunday. The spirit is not there.

                    5. Panthers last game will be with Atlanta. The Arizona one was in October, and it was ugly. Arizona has our number. This is a curse that goes back to Delhomme's playoff blowout in '09. It's a gaping, bleeding wound still oozing out of the head of every Carolina fan.

                2. I'll admit it is in part psychological. Of course Carolina is my sentimental favorite, but beyond that, I hate losing money on a safe bet! It makes me feel like an idiot way more than taking risk and losing.

                  1. Killaz,

                    This is why I refuse to bet on football. I am too much of a fan to think straight. If I ever got serious about gambling on sports I would do it on some sport I didn't care anything about like EPL or the WNBA or golf. That way I would be able to think rationally about how to make my bets instead of letting my fan loyalties and personal grudges make me irrational.

                    1. The nature of football scoring makes it a better betting proposition I find. The only time I bet my team is as a $20 pre-season bet to win it all. Other than that, I'll never touch a Chiefs line no matter how certain it looks to me. I can stay pretty unbiased on all other picks.

                      Your other alternative is college football wagering, assuming you don't have significant allegiances there.

                    2. I have allegiances there too. But really college is a much smarter place to bet. The NFL is the biggest league in the country and only has 32 teams. So the betting on each game is as close to perfectly informed as you can get.

                      College in contrast has over a hundred teams, many of which are not well known outside of their regions. For that reason the betting tends to be uninformed and nearly always overrates the better known team. Every year I will see two or three point spreads in college football that are total gimmes. They always involve a well known team having an off year playing a less well known team having a great year. For example Missouri was only a four point favorite at home over Texas A&M this year. Missouri had a very good team and A&M had perhaps the worst defense in the country and not much on offense beyond Manzel. But the line was close because most people didn't know that Missouri was good but did know about A&M and Manzel. Total gimme game. Sure enough Missouri won by seven and covered.

                    3. What John said.

                      I think college approaches "beatable".

                      The pro lines are very very sharp. If you are betting on coin flips at 11:10, there is no winning system.

                    4. There are occasional times when the lines are obviously wrong. Dallas is only a 3 point favorite over the Redskins next week.

                      I don't care that it's at RFK or that Romo sucks. He doesn't suck as bad as the Skins, and if I had a bookie, I'd definitely bet on Dallas to cover.

            2. If Arrowhead hosts the AFC Championship game, I'm booking the next LAX to MCI flight I find. Might even have to fap in the airplane lavoratory just to contain my excitement.

          2. I could actually see Carolina going if they make it to the playoffs. They're a pretty good team with a great defense and good balance.

            But Miami? Nah. The only teams I see potentially emerging from the AFC are the Chiefs or the Broncos. The NFC, Seattle having homefield is obviously huge, but I could actually see any of the other teams in there upsetting their way at least into a conference championship at Seattle. I do think the best sleeper pick in the NFC would be Arizona if they make it.

            Honey badger don't give a fuck.

            1. There is some serious spottiness at the top of the AFC heap though with the Broncos and New England not being so solid this year. When I double check before placing anything, I'm going to look for the less banged up team, and the most solid defense operation from the last month of the season, and place half on that and then the other half on my dream match up, that is if Miami makes it!

              1. I can buy NE not looking solid this year, but the Broncos, though I loathe to admit it, do look pretty ferocious. Of course, they've hit some bumps in the road, but that offense is going to break a gang of records, Manning is going to set single season passer records, and barring a miracle loss to Houston (please Schaub, catch fire for one game) or Oakland, they're the #1 seed. That said, Manning doesn't have the deep ball accuracy he once did and should the elements be a factor, his offense could easily stall (doubleplus benefit that the playoffs usually include some later start games).

                The Chiefs defense hasn't been looking too great lately, especially compared to its special start in the first nine games (although still getting a lot of turnovers). But the offense came around (fun fact: thie years chiefs are only the second team in NFL history to start the first half in back to back game with 35 points, other team 2002 Chiefs). Plus once Justin Houston comes back, the pass rush will improve markedly and that should help the defense everywhere.

                Smart money pick is KC. The odds you'll get vs. how they stack up against the competition other than Denver is the best AFC investment. But bet it now because if they curb stomp Indy this week, the odds might tighten.

                1. KC is the smart pick for the money. And as good as Denver has looked, you still have the "good teams almost never beat other good teams three times in a year" factor going for you.

                  If the AFC title is decided by Denver playing the Chiefs, the Chiefs will have seen Denver exploit every weakness they can exploit in the previous two games. Also, over the course of three games between two teams, the play of each unit tends to go back to the mean. In both the regular season games, Denver's tackles played out of their minds against the Chiefs' pass rush. They are very likely to have a bad game in a third match up.

                  1. doubleplus benefit that the playoffs usually include some later start games

                    That's a good catch to consider that often gets thrown as an aside. I recall Peyton's Superbowl winning year his AFC division game was played on a Saturday night, they won with only field goals, no touch downs, and absolutely no red zone penetration.

                    1. Peyton is the greatest regular season, 1 o'clock start time QB ever. Pretty much automatic.

                      If you look at his career over the past 10 years, I'd wager that 75% of his losses were a) Primetime b) playoff c) spotlight. Anything that throws off his pre game routine, since he's pretty much autistic.

                    2. I never thought about the disruption to his routine Sudden. That is a great point. Notice he played horrible in the Thursday night game against San Diego.

                      Also, the one great playoff game he ever had, the AFC title win against the Patriots in 06, was the early game on Sunday that year. A one o'clock start.

                    3. That was the genius of Irsay holding the pre-game welcome back party for him in Week 6. Screwed up Manning's pre-game routine.

                2. and barring a miracle loss to Houston (please Schaub, catch fire for one game)

                  Houston fans have also been hoping for Schaub to catch fire, albeit in the literal sense.

                3. The New England defense is an absolute shambles right now; they're missing like half their defensive starters, including the irreplaceable Vince Wilfork. They can't stop anybody.

                  On the other side of the ball things are better but still not great; Gronk's done for the year, and Brady's only consistent receiver is Edelman. For the last three or four weeks they've had to rewrite the entire offensive gameplan at halftime, and they've managed to squeak out a bunch of improbable wins, but it finally caught up to them last week against Miami.

                  I'm a New England fan, but realistically they're playoff roadkill. They'll limp in as a three or four seed in the AFC, maybe eke out a win against a wild card team, and then bow out quietly.

                4. If you're going to handicap games you should be aware that Schaub won't see the field for the rest of the year barring injury to the starting QB.

        3. Colts and Cowboys. Just watch.

      2. That's retarded.

        1. I don't know what the Canadian equivalent of Tractor Pullz is Rufus, but I'm sure you are into it. It involves circle jerks around maple trees, doesn't it?

            1. Naked curling combined with beer farts, its worse than I imagined!

          1. It involves circle jerks around maple trees, doesn't it?

            Two words: "Sodomy, eh!"

      1. any kind of small-scale, low-technology, commercial or subsistence fishing practices, particularly those of coastal or island ethnic groups using traditional techniques such as rod and tackle, arrows and harpoons, throw nets and drag nets, and traditional fishing boats.

        Sooooo...fishing, but when Brown people do it.

        1. It's more authentic that way, HM.

          1. What's so authentic about pasty white beardos immitating the fishing techniques of brown people?

            Hipsters keep using that word, I do not think it means what they think it means.

  7. Congress argues endlessly, Brooks complains, but it's "possible to mobilize the executive branch to come to policy conclusion on something like immigration reform."

    Sure it is. And the moment that conclusion is something Brooks doesn't like, he will be screaming like a stuck pig. This is all one long boring way of Brooks saying "if only I could get my way!!" These people are just children. They don't even qualify as stupid anymore.

    1. Oh, COME ON! Brooks is a genius. I mean, "pants' leg crease," "Bobos in paradise." What more could you ask for?

      I did hear, however, that he had a good column today.

      1. He is going to be President and a great one. His pants were creased perfectly.

        It almost makes me wish I was one these bullshit artist public "intellectuals" just so I could go on panels with Brooks and make a comment about how I made extra certain the cleaners put a perfect crease in my pants this morning or ask Chris Matthews how that thrill going up his leg is feeling today.

        It is not so much that these people hold loathsome ideas, and they most certainly do, it is that they are such pathetic buffoons. Eric Hobsbawn was a nasty evil communist. But he at least was an adult.

      2. His column today is highly jaded and cynical. Is he married? I'm betting he just discovered his wife banging the pool boy.

      3. Hey now. I think Brooks has been very consistent. While, there may be conflicts involved, I think he has proven that his worship of the Raw Power of the Top Men trumps any concerns he has about right or wrong or good policy or bad policy.

    2. Yep. He doesn't want "the" president to have more power, he wants "this" president to have more power. Then he wants that power to go away when we get a president he doesn't like.

      1. We have William F Buckley to thank for this genius of public matters.

        1. Witness the decline of our public intellectuals. First there was Buckley. Then you get Brooks. And now you have Sad Beard and Ezra Klein. As dumb as Brooks is, he can, unlike Klein and Sad Beard, tie a tie and write a proper sentence. In another twenty years the Washington Post will be printing a series of grunts.

          1. "In another twenty years the Washington Post will be printing a series of grunts."

            And assuring us that the libertarians' "shit is all fucked up and they talk like fags".

          2. And President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho will be in the White House.

            1. He already is in an albeit less heroic and less action figure of a person. Baraka Hussein Milhouse Duncan Milquetoast Hazelnut Soetoro Obama.

  8. A government of the people means we are government and government is us! So giving more power to the government is actually giving more power to the people! The whole problem with government is that it is controlled by the rich and the corporations! We need to take government back from the rich and the corporations so government (us) can control the rich and the corporations that control it! To do this we need to give more power to government so we the people can control the rich and the corporations! If that doesn't work it's only because we haven't given enough power to government! And if that doesn't work it's only because we haven't given enough power to government! And if that doesn't work it's only because we haven't given enough power to government! And if that doesn't work it's only because we haven't given enough power to government! And if that doesn't work it's only because we haven't given enough power to government! Power to the people!

    1. Why it isn't a police officer beating me, it's my neighbor! That makes me feel so much better.

      1. It's actually you beating yourself, because we are government and government is us!

        1. Way ahead of you there.

  9. Behold the Cthurkey: Horrifying Christmas meal made from crab, turkey and octopus - served up on a plate complete with Nazi swastika


    1. I've eaten worse.

      1. What was her name? Did you even ever know it?

    2. The geometry is all wrong.

    3. At least it's not tofu.

  10. Good grief. This is a strong contender for the worst op-ed of all time.

    1. NYT editors, meet Jeff, Jeff meet the courtiers that pound out the words that shield our Fearless Leader.

  11. It's a silly question, but how would David Brooks feel about a world in which some maniacal hooligan like Rand Paul had the sort of unfettered Presidential power he so fervently wishes for?

    1. He would be writing op ed after Op ed about the need for Congress to reign in the nihilist executive.

      It is a difficult question to answer whether Brooks is really so profoundly stupid and lack self awareness to such a degree that he can't understand that he would do exactly that and how hypocritical it makes him or if he just thinks his readers are that stupid.

      I am inclined to think that someone like Brooks lives in such an intellectual cocoon that it would never occur to him that someone like Paul would be President or that anything he did would be in any way legitimate. So the issue of hypocrisy never arises in his mind. Of course Paul using executive power would be something that had to be stopped in Brooks' eyes. To Brooks someone like Paul is some kind of lesser human and not entitled to an opinion much less any power. To Brooks and his readers that goes without saying. Pointing it out would be to Brooks, like me telling you freedom was a bad idea because your dog couldn't cope on his own.

      1. It's not a cocoon, it's having your head so far up your own ass that you think the sun is brown

      2. To Brooks someone like Paul is some kind of lesser human and not entitled to an opinion much less any power.

        Well, duh, Paul didn't go to an Ivy League university. Only Ivy Leaguers should be allowed to hold power. Because they are, after all, better than everyone else.

        I have little doubt that Brooks believes something like this, maybe not specifically that one has to be Ivy League, but definitely that one has to have the right academic credentials. And this is the douchebad who teaches a course on "humility" at Yale. You know what they say though, those who can't do, teach.

    2. I can see the Brooks column from an alternate universe now...

      "And President Paul is engaged in a lawless crusade of doing nothing to people. Worse than simply not increasing the amount of stuff he's doing to people, he's actually doing less stuff to people than his predecessors. This sort of obscenity cannot stand. Clearly, Congress needs to intervene to MAKE him do things to people..."

      1. Sure, our economy is booming and men and women are free to enjoy more of the fruits of their own labors, but our world standing is diminished by the day!

        1. The economy is only booming because of all the hard work our tyrant did in the previous presidency!

  12. Well, he does write for the paper that argued during Sandy 'big government is needed for big problems' or some shit like that.

      1. A flatulent woman who breaks wind?

      2. A low grade tropical storm that a) the media tried to turn into the worst storm in history, b) the media tried to turn into evidence of global warming, c) simply evidence that humans are building more and living more in coastal regions, d) all of the above, e) none of the above.

        Answers will be graded on a curve...

        1. f) A student who can afford Georgetown law school, but not afford to pay for her own contraceptives.

          1. Whatever happened to that fucking slut?

            1. "Fucking slut" is redundant.

  13. In a clear bid for peak derp, Brooks in the article opines

    This is a good moment to advocate greater executive branch power because we've just seen a monumental example of executive branch incompetence: the botched Obamacare rollout.

    So, complete utter and hopeless incompetence and idiocy means...we should trust you with more power.

    Maybe Brooks is hoping this article will get him made editor-in-chief.

    1. Nothing will chasten the executive like rewarding its failures. How does someone write that sentence with a straight face?

      1. Yes, I kind of wondered if before sending that article in, Brooks stopped a moment and asked himself, "Do I really want to say that?". My hope is that he didn't.

        1. I think he did. Brooks is nothing if not thoughtful. He is not a complete moron like Yglesias. He just just puke stream on consciousness onto the page the way Yglesias does. He is a very careful and thoughtful writer. When you consider the number of remarkably stupid things Brooks writes, saying he is a thoughtful and careful writer is not a compliment.

    2. "Maybe Brooks is hoping this article will get him made editor-in-chief."

      I think he's probably trying for Secretary of Propaganda. Editor-in-chief is actually a private sector job. And that's really for the hoi polloi.

      1. -10 for "the hoi polli"

  14. Ahh David Brooks... the Tweedle Dee of NPR's itinerant liberal minstrels.

    1. has he been nominated for the Euthanasia Award?...that's where we kill the stupidest fuck we can find

    2. David Brooks who replaced David Gergen after Gergen could no longer play the conservative after he joined the Clinton Administration.

  15. You know who else wanted to make the executive branch more powerful?

    1. "If this were a dictatorship it would be a heck of a lot easier... as long as I'm the dictator. Hehehe." ? George W. Bush

      "Senators! Dellow felegates! In response to this direct threat to the Republic, mesa propose that the Senate give immediately emergency powers to the Supreme Chancellor!"
      ?Representative Jar Jar Binks

      Am I getting close?

    2. Every president ever?

    3. Monica Lewinski?

  16. "Brooks teaches a class on "humility" at Yale"

    Ivy leagues are horseshit specifically because of these clowns they associate with. Even MIT has that Chomsky cocksucker. Krugman. Shameful shit.

    1. And what the fuck would one allegedly learn in a college level course on "humility"? Do people who attend Ivy League schools really need to be taught that their shit does in fact stink? Or is the course all about how to appear humble so as not to rub the poor dumb hicks who don't have an ivy league "education" the wrong way? I really have no idea what such a course could possibly cover.

      1. I really have no idea what such a course could possibly cover.

        Brooks' retirement home in the Keys, most likely.

      2. Loki|12.17.13 @ 1:29PM|#
        "And what the fuck would one allegedly learn in a college level course on "humility"?"

        Dunno, but I' sure Obo was never enrolled. Or he muffed it.

        1. Obo attended Harvard. They don't even bother with a course in humility at Harvard because they believe that everyone who doesn't have a Harvard education are slack jawed morons who are too stupid to live without their intellectual betters reminding them to breath.

      3. " Or is the course all about how to appear humble so as not to rub the poor dumb hicks who don't have an ivy league "education" the wrong way?"

        Don't be silly. It's a course about how not to rub other Ivy League graduates the wrong way. Who give's a frak about the kind of low life that didn't make it to a real school?

    2. Well, Mr. Brooks has a great deal of humility. And he has much to be humble about.


  17. Fuck David Brooks. Holy shit, what an intellectual lightweight. Is there a dumber "intellectual" on the planet? Maybe Krugnuts, but I doubt it.

    1. Josh Barro.

    2. Tom Friedman?

    3. Robert Reich?

    1. Interesting that FDR was such a big fan of the film...sorta tells you about where the Progressives are coming from.

    2. ...the movie was meant to "prepare the public for a dictatorship," as well as to be an instructional guide for FDR, who read the script during the campaign. He liked it so much that he took time during the hectic first weeks of his presidency to suggest several script rewrites...

      Holy crap! And people say FDR wasn't a fascist (actually, my Dad always told me that FDR was as close as this country ever got to a dictator).

  18. irony n.: teaching a college course on "humility"

    1. I was offered a similar gig, but wasn't sure I was qualified enough.

      1. David Brooks is a very modest man. But then, he has s great deal to be modest about.

  19. I want a big copy of that Obama as King Louis photoshop!

    1. There's better ones out there.

  20. Scratch any lib like Brooks, and find a Stalinist.

    1. You are mistaken, sir. Brooks is a conservative.

      /news organizations that need a compliant conservative viewpoint.

  21. Roll that beautiful bean footage!


    1. Anonbot, if it's not too much trouble, could you make a little more effort to fool us? Beans have absolutely nothing to do with this topic.

      Say something like, "LOL they're all crooks!" Or "I wouldn't trust one word that guy says." Or "THOSE. CLOWNS. IN. CONGRESS. DID IT AGAIN. WHAT A. BUNCH OF. CLOWNS."

  22. Did I mention I like Brooks?

  23. While it may have been easy (but troublingly uncharitable) to pick the poor David Brooks as the worst op-ed writer, it was probably hard to choose a worst op-ed. He wrote so many in the past twelve months.

    Indeed, why not choose "The Party of Work" ( http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11.....-work.html ), where after a couple of pages of lucubration unsubstantiated by data and combined with a cheer lack of understanding for economics, he concludes that the problem of the Republican party is the fact that it fails to "embrace the idea that some government programs can incite hard work, not undermine it; enhance opportunity, not crush it"? Because, you know, without government, we would not have "hard work" and "opportunity", which certainly are the hallmarks of the U.S. Post Office, HealthCare.gov, ICE, the Department of Agriculture, HUD and the VA.

    And, if foreign affairs need to be the criteria (rather than economics), why not choose "The Neocon Revival" http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08.....vival.html in which Brooks explains the Republican Party without a "neocon infusion" will be a "43 percent party in national elections, rejected by minorities and the economically insecure"? Because, you know, that neocon stuff worked so well for the country and for that political party!

  24. No, what we need is a system of direct legislation that empowers the citizens and states to propose and pass federal legislation. Even the People may be corrupted with time, but right now the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government on all levels are the enemy of free people.

  25. "It's a good idea to be tolerant of executive branch power grabs," Brooks insists"

    Isn't all this crap just a rehash of Thomas Friedman's nonsense of how we should be more like China to get stuff done?

    Brooks and Friedman are like two peas in a pod.

    Throw in Krugman and you've got the new version of the Threee Stooges.

  26. File Brooks' diatribe away. Beat him over the head with it when the next Republican president takes office.

    1. But of course, he'll just claim that it's different this time. Why? Because, 'pick some trivial difference'.

  27. there's only one way to respond to an argument like Brooks, WTF!!!

  28. It's hardly surprising that a leftist would argue for more power.

  29. Just lost my "grandfathered" health insurance due to Obozo, now i get the choice of losing previous coverages and paying 100$ more a week for the plan thats replacing the one i have or i can pay for all my medical expenses for the year out of pocket with the insanely high deductible ($2,600.00) and get a 12$ decrease in payments weekly for the plan that covers everything i used to have but im paying for it all out of pocket unless i spend over 2600.00 in a visit.FUCK YOU OBAMA FUCK YOU IN YOUR STUPID COMMUNIST ASS YOU FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT I HOPE YOU CHOKE ON YOUR CAVIAR YOU ELITIST FUCK.

  30. I never cease to be disappointed by the urge in some humans to be ruled.

  31. Mr. Brooks truly is a useful idiot.

  32. Goodbye Brooksy, we hardly knew ye.

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