Wednesday, September 21, 2011

David Brooks on Obama's (Unproven) Break with the Center: Continued Special Pleading for the Super-Rich

I'm glad to see David Brooks's overwrought cri du coeur on behalf of rich folks being bullied by big, bad Mr. Obama getting the negative attention it deserves.  Here's Jason Linkins at HuffPo.  And here's Steve Kornacki at Salon.

But Geez Pete, does it really take this latest op-ed piece by Brooks to demonstrate to us that he is and never has been anything but a shill for the wealthy?  That's all his "moderate" conservatism has ever amounted to, and it has long baffled me that ostensibly thoughtful conservatives (aka beltway media mavens) pay any attention at all to what Brooks writes. All that blowsy talk about the need of middle-class and working folks to recover the sober virtues and strong work ethic of our Calvinist foreparents (though Brooks always exempts the rich themselves from this call to piety): it's so much intellectual nonsense.

It is and it always has been nothing but insubstantial, pseudo-intellectual special pleading on behalf of the economic elite who dominate American institutions and political life.  The primary reason Brooks's latest deserves attention is because it's a trial balloon of the meme the Republicans plan to float in response to Mr. Obama's proposal to tax the rich, if we're going to talk about increasing taxes at all.  The new meme is going to be that this is class warfare that's tearing up the nation.

Not that I take Obama very seriously, mind you.  I'd have taken these proposals far more seriously if they didn't pop up when he's in campaign mode.  How he began governing once he got beyond the campaign cycle in 2008 tells me that there's a big gap between his campaign rhetoric, and who and what he actually is, once in office.

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