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A telling transcript – David Brooks admits he knew a year ago that there were no “shovel ready projects” (UPDATED)

Hat tip to Dan Spencer – the link to the article can be found in his RedHot post.

As Mark Shields and David Brooks debated on the News Hour with Jim Lehrer, they spoke about Barack Obama’s self-absorbed interview with the New York Times. Shields, the left winger, was very demoralized over the mere fact that Obama had done the interview, perhaps not realizing that this whole thing was, is and will always be about Barack Obama.

MARK SHIELDS: He didn’t have to do this. What he is doing, a retrospective before the election.

I mean, we have gone from perhaps the least introspective president to the most introspective president. I mean, he sits there and talks about what it means to him and all this. For goodness’ sakes, he’s got a responsibility to his party.

How would you like to be a Democratic member of the House fighting for your life right now, getting hit over the head for having voted for the stimulus bill, and have the president say in The New York Times Sunday magazine, there’s no such thing as a shovel-ready project?

Jim Lehrer expanded the point.

JIM LEHRER: Yes. That was — that’s the piece that’s been — that particular quote has really been drawing the flies — the fleas, has it not?

David Brooks, knowing that he had been scooped but not able to resist interjecting himself into the world of “journalist”, dropped this little nugget:

DAVID BROOKS: Yes. Well, I shouldn’t have confessed this. He said this to me off the record about a year ago. But it hasn’t…

JIM LEHRER: Off the record? So, then you can’t talk about it.

(LAUGHTER)

DAVID BROOKS: Yes, because Peter Baker is a better than I am, because I couldn’t get him to go on the record with that thing.

(LAUGHTER)

JIM LEHRER: He said this to you a year ago?

DAVID BROOKS: It was obvious. I mean, you are trying to build a stimulus package. And when they were trying to build it, believe me, they would have loved to have filled it with infrastructure jobs. But the projects just didn’t exist. They couldn’t do it. They couldn’t find them.

They couldn’t do it. They couldn’t find them.

I really don’t know what Brooks’ purpose was in sharing this little tidbit. Maybe he was jealous. Maybe he sees himself as an Arlen Specter – worth nothing to either side and eager to do anything to get back in the game. But the fact remains that this is just one little example of the press carrying the water for the President. We all knew there was no such thing as a “shovel ready project”, the press all knew there was no such thing (apparently), yet they allowed a debilitating “stimulus” to be sold to the American people – and defend it to this day.

Barack Obama’s regime will be noted for many things, but the most depressing and ominous is the willingness of the press to trade the trust of the people for the benefit of Barack Obama and Democrats.

UPDATE
From UPI, on March 3, 2009. Remember, if David Brooks knew a year ago that there were no shovel-ready projects, guess who else did? That’s right, the guy who told him.

WASHINGTON, March 3 (UPI) — Shovels already are hitting the ground in just the two weeks since the $787 billion stimulus package was signed, U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday.

Speaking to Transportation Department employees and flanked by Vice President Joe Biden and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Obama said 400,000 jobs of the estimated 3.5 million jobs either created or saved were involved in rebuilding infrastrucuture, updating transit or laying broadband line.

“You have never been more important than you are right now, and for that we are all grateful,” Obama told the employees.

Through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, “we will be investing $28 billion in our highways, money that every one of our 50 states can start using immediately to put people back to work,” Obama said. “I can say that 14 days after I signed our Recovery Act into law, we are seeing shovels hit the ground.”

And he really needs to give his toadies a heads up if he is going to throw them under the bus. Arianna Huffington, October 10th, on CNN:

And even though, for example, we still have about $70 billion left in TARP money, why not begin to spend that in ways that would create jobs right now?

I mean, there’s so many ways to do that. Right now in the “Huffington Post”, Dan Froomkin has suggestions around the equivalent of FDR’s works and progress administration that built our modern infrastructure, green jobs in renewable energy where you actually create public-private partnerships.

Riiiight. Government funded, shovel ready projects are so last week, Arianna.

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