Swirling Brooks

This morning, I announced on the air (WRKO Boston) that it's time for Barack Obama to step down as President. He is a leftist whose goals for the country are beyond what the constitution permits, and his philosophy and poor decision making are allowing the economy to speed its unraveling rather than correcting, despite the eagerness of Wall Street to find a glimmer of hope in the new administration. I was surprised not to receive, over the course of two hours discussing the economy, anyone outraged over my suggestion. People are too scared over their collapsing home values and 401K plans to come to defense of the former Messiah, I guess. I did receive, however, one email criticizing my position.
I listen to you once in awhile and think to myself do you what you are talking about or do talk to hear yourself talk?  Aside from your nasal voice, you tend to drone on in an especially sour, negative manner of speaking.  Just this morning, you said that President Obama is a closet communist. You cite no examples and then you mention something about his actions being unconstitutional. Do you just make this stuff up off the top of your head?
Being on in Boston, I get many such missives, which I generally assume originate from amongst the Harvard faculty, and this one clearly fit the mold. I wrote back suggesting that there's nothing so outrageous about my views, and he could see as much were he to read today's David Brooks column in the New York Times. It was shown to me when I got off the air, and I was pleased to see that Brooks, as a former participant in the Obama swoon, had fallen off the wagon and called for moderates to respond to the extreme Obama budget proposal.
So programs are piled on top of each other and we wind up with a gargantuan $3.6 trillion budget. We end up with deficits that, when considered realistically, are $1 trillion a year and stretch as far as the eye can see. We end up with an agenda that is unexceptional in its parts but that, when taken as a whole, represents a social-engineering experiment that is entirely new.
This was quite a change of heart for Brooks, who had been severely in love with the 'transformative' potential he saw in the most unqualified candidate for president ever. Here's what he wrote 15 months ago:
Like most of the rival campaigns, I've been poring over press clippings from Obama's past, looking for inconsistencies and flip-flops. There are virtually none. The unity speech he gives on the stump today is essentially the same speech that he gave at the Democratic convention in 2004, and it's the same sort of speech he gave to Illinois legislators and Harvard Law students in the decades before that. He has a core, and was able to maintain his equipoise, for example, even as his campaign stagnated through the summer and fall.
Was Brooks a believer? Oh yeah.
But Obama does not ratchet up hostilities; he restrains them. He does not lash out at perceived enemies, but is aloof from them... This is a worldview that detests anger as a motivating force, that distrusts easy dichotomies between the parties of good and evil, believing instead that the crucial dichotomy runs between the good and bad within each individual.
If Brooks sounds like he was suffering from some sort of mental illness, or even worse, love, let's be fair - he was swept up in a moment that made most of the country lose perspective. Now though, ahead of the tribe, he has found his equilibrium, and isn't afraid to highlight his poor judgment. Today, he complains:
The U.S. has never been a society riven by class resentment. Yet the Obama budget is predicated on a class divide. The president issued a read-my-lips pledge that no new burdens will fall on 95 percent of the American people. All the costs will be borne by the rich and all benefits redistributed downward... The U.S. has always been a decentralized nation, skeptical of top-down planning. Yet, the current administration concentrates enormous power in Washington, while plan after plan emanates from a small group of understaffed experts.
My new penpal wasn't impressed.
David Brooks is Ok.  A little light as an intellect, but Ok.
There's the Harvard mindset that got us into this dilemma - they worship at the alter of intellect above all else. So unimpressed was he with Brooks' intellect that he apparently didn't bother to read his column, instead offering me a quote from a Daily Kos attack on Brooks, supported by a Joe Klein attack on Brooks. Klein offers little more by way of analysis than does my frustrated listener, and suggests that Obama isn't radical, he only looks it because of the dark conservative cloud from which we are emerging.
We are at the end of a 30-year period of radical conservatism, a period so right-wing that many of those now considered "liberals"--like, say, Barack Obama--would be seen as moderate pantywaists in the great sweep of modern political history...
So it's not surprising that the President would feel the need to move on all fronts, rather than prioritizing, as Brooks would want.
Which was enough to reassure my new friend.
I understand hyperbole when I hear it.  Neither Geitner, Volker, Summers, Biden or the mainstream Democratic party are leftist or socialists. You know as well as I that the financial structures are quickly crumbling and that Obama is merely trying to hold things together.
Yup - he's trying to hold together the economy by raising taxes, playing class warfare, investing in socialized medicine, and burdening the entire economy with a "remedy" for Global Warming, a problem which we know not the cause of. All of which are at the top of the list of things to do in a catastrophic economy, right? Writes Brooks today:
The U.S. has traditionally had a relatively limited central government. But federal spending as a share of G.D.P. is zooming from its modern norm of 20 percent to an unacknowledged level somewhere far beyond.
Which, of course, is the endgame for Joe Klein, the Daily Kos and those professors across the river in Cambridge.