NYT's Brooks: GOP Health Plan 'Declaring War on' GOP Voters

Appearing as a guest on Monday's Charlie Rose on PBS, allegedly right-leaning New York Times columnist David Brooks was negative on House Speaker Paul Ryan's plan to replace ObamaCare as he hyperbolically claimed that it amounted to "declaring war on" those who voted for President Donald Trump as he predicted as many as 15 million people would be "denied insurance."

Then, even while noting that he finds White House advisor Steve Bannon to be "noxious," he suggested it would still be better to let him lead on the health insurance issue for the sake of making Trump voters happy, and ended up admitting that he is "to the left" of congressional Republicans "on a lot of issues."

After recalling to substitute host Robert Costa that Speaker Ryan has a background of being more consistent with Empower America and Ronald Reagan conservatism, he found Bannon to be in a different faction:

And so one wants to reduce government to enhance freedom, and they embrace risk. And the populists want to tighten down to increase security. And what's odd to me about this health care plan, which is really much more Ryan than Bannon, is that it introduces more risk into people's lives and it takes away social support.

He then made his characterization that the plan is "declaring war on" GOP voters as he continued:

And so, as we sit here, we don' t know how many people are going to be denied insurance, but it's going to be millions -- maybe eight, ten, fifteen million. And so that's the Trump base. And what's odd to me about this health care plan is it's declaring war on the people who voted for the Republican President by denying them security of these insurance plans, by taking subsidies that would go to them and using it for tax cuts for the rich, and then increasing risk in their lives. 

The Times columnist then seemed to suggest that, despite his negative description of the Ryan plan, his own views were actually closer to it than to Bannon as Brooks added:

And I happen to be a guy who likes tax credits so people can buy insurance, but there's no question it increases risk. It puts the onus on us as individuals and family members to make those choices and shop in that marketplace and bear those deductibles. And so I just don't think the Bannon wing of the party wants risks, wants to be deprived of resources, and wants to live in a more uncertain world. And so, to me, what's sort of -- the health care reveals a party that is neither hither nor yonder.

After suggesting that Bannon should be given a greater role on health care, Brooks -- who regularly appears on PBS Newshour as the supposedly more conservative half of the weekly "Shields and Brooks" segment -- admitted to having a substantial number of views to the left of congressional Republicans:

What I'm beginning to see on Capitol Hill -- particularly in the Senate -- is a bunch of Republicans who I think are behaving pretty well. You know, if they were like me, they'd be all anti-Trump and anti-Bannon, but they're not going to be like me. They -- I'm probably to their left on a lot of issues, and I don't have to have Republican voters vote for me to keep my job, so, but I would say they're trying to improve Trump, they're trying to respect him, they're trying to move him, they're being brave enough to criticize him.

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Monday, March 13, Charlie Rose on PBS:

4 minutes in:

DAVID BROOKS: Paul Ryan is pretty much, he grew up through Empower America, which is a Republican organization here in town, and it's pretty much the Reagan Republican world view -- less government, more freedom. Steve Bannon represents a nationalist world view -- the people at the, the working class people, the heart of our society are being hurt, let's give them some security. And so one wants to reduce government to enhance freedom, and they embrace risk. And the populists want to tighten down to increase security. And what's odd to me about this health care plan, which is really much more Ryan than Bannon, is that it introduces more risk into people's lives and it takes away social support. 

And so, as we sit here, we don' t know how many people are going to be denied insurance, but it's going to be millions -- maybe eight, ten, fifteen million. And so that's the Trump base. And what's odd to me about this health care plan is it's declaring war on the people who voted for the Republican President by denying them security of these insurance plans, by taking subsidies that would go to them and using it for tax cuts for the rich, and then increasing risk in their lives. 

And I happen to be a guy who likes tax credits so people can buy insurance, but there's no question it increases risk. It puts the onus on us as individuals and family members to make those choices and shop in that marketplace and bear those deductibles. And so I just don't think the Bannon wing of the party wants risks, wants to be deprived of resources, and wants to live in a more uncertain world. And so, to me, what's sort of -- the health care reveals a party that is neither hither nor yonder.

ROBERT COSTA: So if Bannon is really the soul of the Trump presidency in terms of his populism and his nationalism, why is it Speaker Ryan who's driving the process?

BROOKS: Yeah, we were talking before, I want to write a column called "Let Bannon Be Bannon," like let him run the show -- at least it would be coherent. I don't agree with the guy -- I find him a little noxious, maybe -- but he has a coherent world view, and he knows who his people are, and he's going to defend them. The Ryan-Bannon mixture is an incoherent mixture, and that's why this bill is disliked on all wings of the party because it's neither hither nor there.

(...)

19 minutes in:

BROOKS: What I'm beginning to see on Capitol Hill -- particularly in the Senate -- is a bunch of Republicans who I think are behaving pretty well. You know, if they were like me, they'd be all anti-Trump and anti-Bannon, but they're not going to be like me. They -- I'm probably to their left on a lot of issues, and I don't have to have Republican voters vote for me to keep my job, so, but I would say they're trying to improve Trump, they're trying to respect him, they're trying to move him, they're being brave enough to criticize him.

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