Has David Brooks finally been able to break the hypnotism of the crease? On Jim Lehrer’s NewsHour on PBS, a show that seems to have a fondness for inviting him on when they need a “conservative” to slap around, he said:
“I sort of think this debate hurts both candidates,” Brooks said Friday on PBS’s “NewsHour.” “I think Bain is not popular. It is not well-known. Most Americans don’t know what Bain is, but it is not popular, the idea that he was in some sort of weird consulting group. It’s not popular. And so I do think they are exploiting it for a reason. Nonetheless, I do think hurts Obama, because it makes him look like a very conventional politician. I don’t think, if you are a liberal Democrat, you want to be seen attacking business. People may not love business. They like it a lot better than government. And they don’t want to see an anti-business Democrat.”
This seems to be a lesson the Obama campaign hasn’t learned yet. See the saga of one Cory Booker, a Democrat I used to hold a great amount of respect for, until he decided loyalty to party was greater than loyalty to his principles. Anyways, Brooks continues with more criticism that is, by his standards, the equivalent of some Allen West-style comments:
“And, finally, I just think the Obama administration, or the campaign has demeaned itself with a series of falsehoods. They released this ad which had a whole series of falsehoods. The one was that this steel company, GST, was a healthy company until Bain took it over, which the ad suggests — completely untrue.”
“Second, [the idea] that Romney was part of throwing people out on the street when they finally did have to close this failing company,” he continued. “He was long gone from Bain. And then, finally, that these private equity companies load debt onto businesses. There is a study, though, reported in my newspaper. There is no more debt, no more default in these companies than in other comparable companies. So, it’s this whole series of things which were untrue, which make Obama seem much more like a conventional politician.”
My gosh, has David Brooks found a spine?
“Now they are running a completely traditional campaign, literally regurgitating the exact same ad that Ted Kennedy ran against Mitt Romney. And so have they decided, we have just got to win this way? Or are they losing something? I think they’re losing something by being so conventional.”
For David Brooks, who seems to be unable to commit himself to much (aside from Obama in 2008 and condemning grassroots conservatives
), these are strong comments. When you think about it, though, isn’t Mitt Romney an ideal David Brooks Republican? Then again, if you can’t bring yourself to endorse McCain (even considering the allure of the crease), what kind of Republican is a supposed moderate willing to endorse?
So, has David Brooks seen the light? In Brooksian fashion (albeit in terms he wouldn’t be caught dead using): Kinda sorta, well maybe no really? I’ll wait for the formal endorsement of Governor Romney before I say anything different.