David Brooks has reached the pinnacle of American opinion media, the NYT.
His first column "http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/09/opinion/09BROO.html">is
Now, you probably know that Brooks is a Republican, a PBS
regular, and an NPR regular. He wrote Bobos in Paradise, which argued that
we should see yuppie obsession with Pottery Barn phones as some kind of
cultural sign of good things to come.
Well, whatever. But keep your
eye on him because though most dems don't think about it, there's a strong
ideological split running through the Republican party, between more old
fashioned Republicans (fiscal conservatives, moderately conservative on
social issues, quasi-isolationist in foreign policy, but amenable to
compromise and partisan ball-playing--think Bob Dole) and the Neocons
(insanely interventionist in practically every way, deregulation mavens, and
win-at-all-costs opponents who would rather let their daughter go to Bryn
Mawr than compromise with a Democrat).
Brooks has pushed, I think, for
a return to an older and more temperate Republicanism. I still disagree with
him 90% of the time and think he's become a Bush-bootlick (what
upwardly-mobile Republican media bloviator isn't?) but now he has the
journalistic equivalent of the Supreme Court and he can pretty much start
saying what he wants. He may change the terms of the debate, perhaps
bringing things away from what we can call the "Kristol-Coulter
Then again, he might just be an ass.
To the Editor:
In "Whatever It Takes" (Sept. 9 Op-Ed)
David Brooks argues that while the Bush Administration never acknowledges
mistakes or valid criticisms, their lack of candor is absolved by their
hidden reassessments of bad policy choices.
For many of us, however,
evasiveness and dishonesty can't be forgiven so easily. Team Bush lied about
the reasons for going to war and now that things are going badly, they are
scrambling for ways to fix the situation.
Brooks has pointed to, but
hasn't admitted, that this Administration allows political expediency to
trump morality while taking a very painful human toll.