This is a sad time to be David Brooks, the New York Times house conservative. The souring economy (along with other poor administration decisions) has caused a big drop in the popularity of his beloved Barack Obama with his party facing electoral disaster at the polls this November. So what to do? Why, engage in fantasy by writing an alternate history in which an all-wise Obama cuts taxes and vetoes big spending plans passed by the Democrat congress. Here is some of the comedy gold Brooks dreamed up in his alternate history universe:
...He told his aides to put away the history books and reject the New Deal comparisons. Unlike in 1932, Americans today have a raging distrust of Washington, he observed. Living through a crisis caused by excessive debt, they will viscerally recoil at the prospect of federal debt without end. “Somehow,” Obama concluded, “we have to address the crisis without further terrifying the American people.”
The stimulus package, he continued, should rely heavily on cutting payroll taxes. This, he argued, will send a quick jolt to the economy without concentrating power in Washington. It will deliver a sharp psychological boost to the middle class. It might even be bipartisan. Obama noted that John McCain had a $445 billion stimulus plan along these lines and his fellow Republican senator, Mel Martinez, a $713 billion plan.
Yes, in this Brooksian alternate history the same Barack Obama who won't even extend the Bush tax cuts will go completely against his proven character and cut taxes. And now more from the fantasy world whirling around inside of Brooks' fervid imagination:
In March, Congress passed an omnibus spending bill, stuffed with earmarks. Obama vetoed it.
As for ObamaCare, it was put on the backburner by the politically savvy Obama in this alternate history:
April brought the cruelest fight: whether to spend the rest of the year getting health care reform or a new energy policy. Obama decided to do energy first. The economy was uppermost on everybody’s mind. Americans were wondering where new innovations would come from, what new jobs would emerge.
Left out of this alternate history is Brooks' real history of gullibly swallowing the economic excuses of this administration in early 2009. Here is how Brooks was wooed with his very own wall chart by Obama bigwigs back then after he very briefly objected to the policies back then:
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.)
In my own alternate history, a skeptical David Brooks tells the Obama insiders:
You expect me to buy into your absurd projections because they are on a chart? That's really laughable so why don't you take your chart and stick it where the moon don't shine.
Of course, that happened only in the alternate history. In real life, that chart could still be on David Brooks' wall.