Pseudo-conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks -- appointed by both NPR and PBS to agree with liberals from the "Republican" side of the political divide on Friday-night "week in review" panels -- is back to bashing Ted Cruz, even though after the election, he admitted Republicans weren't too extreme to win all over the place.
On Friday's "All Things Considered," Brooks was bashing Obama with the worst cudgel he could imagine: Mr. President, don't pull a "total Ted Cruz maneuver" and force amnesty by executive order. Oh, he agrees with Obama, but forcing it is just bad manners:
DAVID BROOKS: Well, you know, I support what the president is thinking about doing on substance grounds. I don't think we should be breaking up the families the way we are. But at this moment, to do this, it strikes me as a total Ted Cruz maneuver. First, it's extremely confrontational -- the idea that we might've had some compromises and some actual legislation passed, which I do think was possibility. This is a total thumb in the eye of this by the White House to do this. It's extremely confrontational. It's picking the most hot-button issue and just shoving it in the eye of the Republicans. Second, and more importantly, it makes immigration reform much, much less likely for a long, long time. I don't think the White House knows too much about the Republican Party, but they were getting around to the idea of some sort of immigration reform. They know they have to do it. This makes that much, much less likely
Brooks used a similar line on the PBS NewsHour: "on the substance of it, I think it’s fine. On the politics of it, on the effect on our country, I think it’s just a terrible, terrible idea, sort of a Ted Cruz stick in the eye of any chance we would have bipartisanship."
Naturally, his NPR counterpart on the left, Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne, couldn’t stomach this analogy: “Not at all. And I don't think Ted Cruz is the right model here. The Senate passed a bipartisan, it really was bipartisan immigration bill last summer, a year ago last summer. John Boehner kept saying, 'Oh, I want to pass it. I want to pass it. I want to pass it.' The president waited, waited, waited and waited.”
Then came the extremely laughable Obama line: Democrats were swamped at the elections because the supporters of amnesty all stayed home. So when the Republicans win in a landslide, that means there’s some kind of Apathy Mandate, and our first priority as a nation is what we’re going to guess is the viewpoint of people who never showed up.
E.J. DIONNE: The president points out this is the lowest turnout since 1942. Nearly two-thirds of the public didn't vote. Most of those nonvoters were Democrats. A lot of them were young people and Latinos. And so what he's saying is folks are dispirited because nothing has happened. I'm going to start making things happen. And I think that's better than nothing happening.
At the end, anchor Audie Cornish brought up ultraliberal Sen. Elizabeth Warren getting a new post in the Senate leadership to push her as a rising star on the left. Brooks said he was happy for his many progressive friends:
BROOKS: Well, the Democrats - when you have these sweep elections, the people who lose tend to be the moderates. And so the Democrat moderates are just fewer in number, and the party is more on the left as the Republican Party shifted more to the right in its wins. And so Elizabeth Warren makes the heart sing. And so I want all my progressive friends to have their hearts singing, so I guess I'm for a Warren promotion.
CORNISH: E.J., am I hearing your heart right now?
DIONNE: My heart is singing. First of all, I think that Elizabeth Warren is for the Democrats in the Senate what President Obama said Bill Clinton is. She's the senator in charge of explaining things. And she is one of the best people out there to explain what the Democratic position is. This kind of odd position they created for her is about messaging and trying to get their message across. But it's an interesting, balanced ticket here because also included in leadership - Amy Klobuchar, who is a more middle of the road Democrat from Minnesota and then Jon Tester who's head of the campaign committee, who is a moderate in some ways - moderate to conservative Democrats. So they covered all their bases with these additions to their leadership.
Earth to Dionne: Please check the American Conservative Union ratings for these “moderates.” Senator Klobuchar has a lifetime rating (in seven years through 2013) of 6.29 percent. In her first year, Warren’s score is four percent. This is the wide chasm of ideological diversity?
Senator Tester in seven years has a rating of 13 percent, but it’s gun-rights votes that make the difference.