David Brooks Mocks Victims of Obama's 'Enhanced Negotiating Techniques'; Conveniently Forgetting His Own Victimhood

Imagine if you had read a column written by a victim of Bernard Madoff's ponzi scheme mocking people who had also fallen prey to the same financier. That was the feeling your humble correspondent had while reading the column of the New York Times "house conservative" David Brooks making fun of how the Obama Administration arm twists corporations to go along with his economic plans. So let us now watch how Obama's prime journalistic victim has himself a good ol' time laughing at how the administration uses "enhanced negotiating techniques" on corporate victims:

There is nothing so inspiring as public service, so I’ve been incredibly moved over the past few weeks to watch squads of corporate executives come to the White House so President Obama could announce that he was giving away their money.

A few weeks ago, we were privileged to see a gathering of health care executives standing behind the president as he announced that they would be donating $2 trillion in future revenue to the cause of health care reform.

Recently we were uplifted when the president informed Chrysler’s secured creditors that they had agreed to donate their ownership stake in the company to the United Auto Workers. Just last week, we were enthralled to see a group of auto executives beaming with pride as the president announced that in order to reduce gas consumption, they would henceforth be scaling back on all those car lines that consumers actually want to buy.

These events have heralded a new era of partnership between the White House and private companies, one that calls to mind the wonderful partnership Germany formed with France and the Low Countries at the start of World War II. The press conferences and events marking this new spirit of cooperation have been the emotional highlights of the administration so far.

Ha! Ha! Ha! Oh, you're too funny, David! However, what makes this much funnier than you intended is that YOU are the prime victim in the mainstream media of Obama's methods. Shall we take a walk down NewsBusters memory lane to see just how easily you swallowed the Obama Kool-Aid?

"General" David Brooks, the very compliant house conservative of the New York Times, after just three days of bravely volunteering to lead a mighty "moderate" army against the "ideological outrages" of the Barack Obama administration, has now called a hasty retreat with a column that borders on outright apology for daring to oppose the very liberal budget.

So did the Obama people subject Brooks to something like water boarding to get him to turn around? Nope! All it took was some mild ego massaging:

 On Tuesday, I wrote that the Obama budget is a liberal, big government document that should make moderates nervous. The column generated a large positive response from moderate Obama supporters who are anxious about where the administration is headed. It was not so popular inside the White House. Within a day, I had conversations with four senior members of the administration and in the interest of fairness, I thought I’d share their arguments with you today.

Yes, just a slight ego massage and a magic chart given for young David to stare at was all that was necessary to get this very compliant reaction:

In the first place, they do not see themselves as a group of liberal crusaders. They see themselves as pragmatists who inherited a government and an economy that have been thrown out of whack. They’re not engaged in an ideological project to overturn the Reagan Revolution, a fight that was over long ago. They’re trying to restore balance: nurture an economy so that productivity gains are shared by the middle class and correct the irresponsible habits that developed during the Bush era.

...The White House has produced a chart showing nondefense discretionary spending as a share of G.D.P. That’s spending for education, welfare and all the stuff that Democrats love. Since 1985, this spending has hovered around 3.7 percent of G.D.P. This year, it’s about 4.6 percent. The White House claims that it is going to reduce this spending to 3.1 percent by 2019, lower than at any time in any recent Republican administration. I was invited to hang this chart on my wall and judge them by how well they meet these targets. (I have.)

So now that we have seen just how easily the White House played David Brooks' keys, let us now watch how he turns around and makes fun of corporations being strong armed into backing Obama's economic policies in his latest column:

These events usually begin when the executives gather in the Oval Office, where they experience certain Enhanced Negotiating Techniques. I’m not exactly sure what the president does to inspire the business leaders’ cooperation and sense of public service, though those who remember the disembowelment scene in “Braveheart” will have a general idea.

I'm not sure exactly what was done either but I bet it was a bit more harsh than a slight ego massage and a wall chart, David.

Then the president leads the executives out onto the White House lawn for the announcement ceremony. Often, the president will still be carrying the riding crop and the pliers used in the private negotiation. He moves to the microphone while the executives take their pre-assigned places behind him, the jingle of their leg shackles blending with the dulcet tones of spring. I thought one hospital executive was so moved by the occasion that he had slipped into catatonic shock, except that he was blinking “Save Me! Save Me!” in Morse code to his shareholders. 

So what Morse code message did you send out while writing this love ballad dedicated to Obama?

 ...The young Obama had a loving relationship with an adult passionate about his future.

...The reform vision Obama sketched out in his speech flows from that experience. The Obama approach would make it more likely that young Americans grow up in relationships with teaching adults.

...Obama’s goal is to make sure results have consequences. He praises data sets that “tell us which students had which teachers so we can assess what’s working and what’s not.” He also aims to reward states that use data to make decisions. He will build on a Bush program that gives states money for merit pay so long as they measure teachers based on real results. He will reward states that expand charter schools, which are drivers of innovation, so long as they use data to figure out which charters are working.

Oh, you want an encore? Here goes:

Education is close to his heart. He has broken with liberal orthodoxy on school reform more than any other policy.

Not enough Obama praise? Okay, here's another encore for you:

It was not automatic that an administration led by a 47-year-old man with little Washington experience would run a professional, smoothly functioning operation. Yet he has. The administration has unveiled a dazzling array of proposals with a high degree of efficiency and managerial skill. This has inspired confidence in his team, if not in the government as a whole.

Let us now give the journalistic victim of  Obama's techniques one last "comedic" shot at the corporate victims:

You can see the ecstasy of Washington promise-making spread joy from soul to soul. Infected by these visions, automakers vow that in three years they will have created a resurgence of enthusiasm around the Chevy Aveo. Financiers vow they will build an entirely new banking industry that doesn’t rely so much on loan repayment. Health care executives vow that in three years they’ll perform CAT scans at Kinko’s.

Some say these are just meaningless promises that ignore hard choices and that no one has any intention of keeping. But this is ungenerous. At these events, the president has taken former rivals and has joined them in the holy bonds of mutual fantasy. He has taken a divided nation and has given us photo-ops to bind us and remind us of our common humanity. Business lies down with government. Management embraces labor. You call it what you will; I call it beautiful.

I call it laughable when David Brooks is the one hypocritically pointing his fingers at the Obama victims. And speaking of "mutual fantasy," how is that wall chart working out for you, David?

New York Times David Brooks
P.J. Gladnick's picture