When David Brooks started writing in the NYT I thought he was, not a conservative, but someone slightly right of center. After reading his latest I am starting to think that there is some time of mind altering substance in the atmosphere at the newspaper.
His latest on Barack Obama;
Op-Ed Columnist – The Pragmatic Leviathan – NYTimes.com
A year ago, the country rallied behind a new president who promised to end the pendulumlike swings, who seemed likely to restore equilibrium with his moderate temper and pragmatic mind.
In many ways, Barack Obama has lived up to his promise. He has created a thoughtful, pragmatic administration marked by a culture of honest and vigorous debate. When Obama makes a decision, you can be sure that he has heard and accounted for every opposing argument.
But just a paragraph later;
Americans, with their deep, vestigial sense of proportion, have reacted. The crucial movement came between April and June, when the president’s approval rating among independents fell by 15 percentage points and the percentage of independents who regarded him as liberal or very liberal rose by 18 points. Since then, the public has rejected any effort to centralize authority or increase the role of government.
Trust in government has fallen. The share of Americans who say the country is on the wrong track has risen. The share who call themselves conservative has risen. The share who believe government is “doing too many things better left to business” has risen.
The country is now split on Obama, because he is temperate, thoughtful and pragmatic, but his policies are almost all unpopular. If you aggregate the last seven polls on health care reform, 41 percent support it and 51 percent oppose.
So, Americans are rejecting his policies because he is “temperate, thoughtful and pragmatic”? The actions of his Cabinet members and his surrogates are marked by a culture of honest and vigorous debate?
Is that why all the Republican amendments to the Healthcare bill are voted down on Party line votes if they get any vote at all? Are the backroom deals and blatant payoffs of supporters considered honest? Is his idea that “bipartisanship” means allowing your opponents to slavishly support your legislation, otherwise they are “obstructing”?
I think that Brooks would be wise to skip the luncheons with the editorial staff and other columnists. They have slipped something in his salad.