The Jekyll & Hyde Columnist

The only way I can make sense of today’s NYT column by David Brooks is that somebody in the GOP must have scared the hell out of him. Think about it. In July, Brooks wrote that

the Republican Party may no longer be a normal party. Over the past few years, it has been infected by a faction that is more of a psychological protest than a practical, governing alternative.

The members of this movement do not accept the logic of compromise, no matter how sweet the terms. If you ask them to raise taxes by an inch in order to cut government by a foot, they will say no. If you ask them to raise taxes by an inch to cut government by a yard, they will still say no.

Yet today, Brooks is calling Obama a “sap” for not trying harder to win over the party that Brooks just a few months ago said would not compromise, “no matter how sweet the terms.”

I’m not sure if today’s column is pure chutzpa or just Brooks attempting to get back in good favor with Republican party brokers.

Either way, Andrew Sullivan is all over it.

7 Responses to “The Jekyll & Hyde Columnist”

  1. Paul Kelly says:

    Brooks didn’t call Obama a sap. He called himself a sap for falling for Obama’s rhetoric which never matches his actions. The Republicans put $800 billion on the table in the debt ceiling negotiations and Obama blew it up. He first proposed his millionaire’s tax 2 years ago to fund Obamacare and it was rejected by both houses of Congress that had overwhelming Democratic majorities at the time.
    It’s been almost 900 days since the Democrats have offered a budget. Without a budget passed by the Senate, there’s nothing for Republicans to compromise on. Oh hell, it’s all Bush’s fault.

  2. Kendra says:

    I too was confused by your writing David Brooks called Obama a sap! 

    I also don’t believe he’s been frightened by anyone in the GOP. If so, who and how (or just how). I think he’s truly disappointed – an outcome surely predictable by his OTT Obamalove (“the crease in his pants” FFS).

    I myself am extremely disappointed. While I could not agree with Obama’s ideology, I did believe in his proclaimed goal of transparency, no lobbyist influence, bills being posted for public comment a certain number of days, CSPAN coverage of debates, etc. However, my cynicism already began with the transition team and his signing of the SCHIP bill.

    Took Brooks a long time but then – he was so very much in love!

  3. Eric Adler says:

    Brooks is indeed a sap, as he says. He is trying to remain a moderate Republican. There is no such thing anymore.
    Working politicians are unable to maintain that kind of image, and have moved to the right.  All moderate Republicans are sitting on the sidelines like Bruce Bartlett, wringing their hands, worrying that the current Republican party might succeed in taking over America.

  4. Paul kelly:
    “He called himself a sap for falling for Obama’s rhetoric which never matches his actions.”
    Politifact demonstrates that you’re wrong about that rhetoric never matching actions thing.
    And that which did not pass two years ago, may have a new life in a new political climate.  One where middle class stagnation has dragged on for two years while the profits of the wealthy have soared.  Where even some high-profile fatcats are calling for more taxes on their kind.

  5. And Brooks has been, is, and will continue to be, ridiculous.  As with Tom Friedman, it’s a mystery to me why he commands any attention, much less a berth in the NY Times op-ed page.
    Where do ‘pundits’ come from, anyway?

  6. Tom Fuller says:

    I really don’t like Friedman. That said, the CW deserves a voice. Just as cliches don’t earn their title without a basis in reality, conventional wisdom should have a place in the public debate. I think Brooks does it pretty well, actually.

  7. Tom Scharf says:

    I had the same response Brooks did.  The jobs speech sounded plausible until he came out a few days later with paying for a temporary jobs bill with permanent tax increases.

    10 years of increased taxes on someone else’s watch for stimulus jr. today. Obama cares about one job, his own.

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