David Brooks, the "House Conservative" of the New York Times, should seriously consider putting his self-description as "conservative" in quotes at all times in order to comply with truth in packaging. I mean how conservative can you be when liberal sources are quoting you favorably, especially when you sound like, without quite saying so, you are endorsing Barack Obama? The liberal New Republic cites Brooks favorably for his almost endorsement of The One:
Has David Brooks Endorsed Obama?
Not in so many words, but please continue:
Well, not exactly. After all, he has one paragraph in his column in Friday's Times in which he speculates that Obama might be reticent, stand-offish, ineffectual.
The rest is a well thought-out and (as usual) elegantly written argument for Obama's character as a portend of an intelligent and considered presidency. It's not only that the economy will protect against wild supplemental spending. Obama, Brooks argues, is not a crusader. He measures ideas by the likeliness of their progressive effect.
Here is the David Brooks Obama acclamation column that The New Republic Editor, Marty Peretz, cites so favorably (emphasis):
We’ve been watching Barack Obama for two years now, and in all that time there hasn’t been a moment in which he has publicly lost his self-control. This has been a period of tumult, combat, exhaustion and crisis. And yet there hasn’t been a moment when he has displayed rage, resentment, fear, anxiety, bitterness, tears, ecstasy, self-pity or impulsiveness.
How about when he impulsively revealed his share the wealth plan to Joe the Plumber? We return you now to the New York Times "House Conservative" polishing Obama's halo:
Some candidates are motivated by something they lack. For L.B.J., it was respect. For Bill Clinton, it was adoration. These politicians are motivated to fill that void. Their challenge once in office is self-regulation. How will they control the demons, insecurities and longings that fired their ambitions?
But other candidates are propelled by what some psychologists call self-efficacy, the placid assumption that they can handle whatever the future throws at them. Candidates in this mold, most heroically F.D.R. and Ronald Reagan, are driven upward by a desire to realize some capacity in their nature. They rise with an unshakable serenity that is inexplicable to their critics and infuriating to their foes.
Obama has the biography of the first group but the personality of the second. He grew up with an absent father and a peripatetic mother. “I learned long ago to distrust my childhood,” he wrote in “Dreams From My Father.” This is supposed to produce a politician with gaping personal needs and hidden wounds.
But over the past two years, Obama has never shown evidence of that. Instead, he has shown the same untroubled self-confidence day after day.
In the middle of throwing himself at Obama's feet while screaming, "We are not worthy!!!" perhaps Brooks should ponder why, if Obama is so self-confident, he is taking potshots at Joe the Plumber. The Adoration of The One continues:
There has never been a moment when, at least in public, he seems gripped by inner turmoil. It’s not willpower or self-discipline he shows as much as an organized unconscious. Through some deep, bottom-up process, he has developed strategies for equanimity, and now he’s become a homeostasis machine.
...They say we are products of our environments, but Obama, the sojourner, seems to go through various situations without being overly touched by them. Over the past two years, he has been the subject of nearly unparalleled public worship, but far from getting drunk on it, he has become less grandiloquent as the campaign has gone along.
When Bill Clinton campaigned, he tried to seduce his audiences. But at Obama rallies, the candidate is the wooed not the wooer. He doesn’t seem to need the audience’s love. But they need his. The audiences hunger for his affection, while he is calm, appreciative and didactic.
Sheesh! Keep in mind that this is a supposed "House Conservative" practically announcing Obama's heavenly accension. Oh yeah, there was that one minor caveat that Brooks had about Obama that Peretz mentioned. And, believe me, it is very minor:
He doesn’t have F.D.R.’s joyful nature or Reagan’s happy outlook, but he is analytical. That’s why this William Ayers business doesn’t stick. He may be liberal, but he is never wild. His family is bourgeois. His instinct is to flee the revolutionary gesture in favor of the six-point plan.
Real critical there, Brooks. And the reason why the "William Ayers business" (like bombing buildings) doesn't stick is that most of the press today are far more interested in digging up dirt on Joe the Plumber than investigating Obama's ties with Bill the Bomber.
This adulation of Obama by the "House Conservative" shouldn't be too surprising. Brooks has been performing the service of pretending to be "conservative" while slamming conservatives for at least a year. As we saw a few days ago, the one "conservative" in the PBS post-debate lineup was one David Brooks who, as NewsBusters Tim Graham reported, joined the liberals on the "Murderer's Row" panel in slamming McCain:
David Brooks, the increasingly fraudulent "conservative," who effusively praised Obama for being grand and calm "like a redwood forest," a "source of comfort," while McCain "seemed tight" and "hard to live with for four years," and who ended up the night announcing McCain would lose. (UPDATE: On Charlie Rose later, Brooks decided Obama was so cool he was "a mountain.")
The New York Times "House Conservative" seems to know his place. Pretend to be a "conservative" while advancing the liberal agenda of getting Obama elected (along with slamming Rush Limbaugh). Should the "House Conservative" veer from that path, he will find his invites to exclusive Manhattan parties, where they probably now express "strange new respect" for Brooks, dry up along, perhaps, with his job.