Financial Times reporter Edward Luce has found another sign of trouble for the McCain campaign: he's turning up the noses of the "cocktail party circuit" inside Washington, D.C., which is "swelling with disaffected Republicans."

I kid you not.

From Luce's page 4 October 24 article, "McCain's troubles highlight party rift":

The more trouble John McCain's campaign encounters, the more it highlights the cultural divide between the "real America" the Republican candidate says he represents and the Washington "cocktail party circuit" that largely disdains it.

That circuit is swelling with disaffected Republicans. Some complain about Mr McCain's selection of Sarah Palin, whose appeal to "Joe Six-Pack" may have been dented by revelations this week that she has spent more than $150,000 (€117,000, £93,000) of other people's money on her wardrobe. Others are upset at the negative tone of the campaign.

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?

To put more evidence on the bone of contention that PBS was really slanted after the debate last night, I have fuller transcripts of what transpired. On the Jim Lehrer post-debate show, as the candidates were still on stage waving goodbye, anchorman Jim Lehrer asked David Brooks "Did McCain do what he had to do?"

Rick Sanchez, CNN Anchor, & Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review Senior Editor | NewsBusters.orgDuring Wednesday’s Newsroom program, CNN anchor Rick Sanchez tried to portray that there were many so-called conservatives who were "defecting," in his words, from John McCain over his selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. His list of conservatives, which he read prior to an interview of National Review senior editor Ramesh Ponnuru, included homosexual activist Andrew Sullivan, New York Times columnist David Brooks, and satirist Christopher Buckley, who recently left National Review over his endorsement of Barack Obama. Sanchez later backtracked from this labeling after Ponnuru pointed out that "a lot of those people who are critical of Palin are not defecting from McCain:" "I'll take it back. Let's take out the word ‘defection,’ and just say Republicans who have been critical of John McCain. Is that more fair?"

The Huffington Post reported that New York Times columnist David Brooks, the man PBS’s "NewsHour" unit selected to represent in some way "conservative" opinion in America, has condemned Gov. Sarah Palin as "a fatal cancer to the Republican Party."

Brooks claimed some conservatives not only scorn liberal ideas, but "scorn ideas entirely," including Palin and President Bush. He also lauded Barack Obama’s intellect, recounting a conversation he had with Obama about the intellectual Reinhold Niebuhr: "I was dazzled, I felt the tingle up my knee as Chris Matthews would say."

Many conservative and Republican taxpayers might ask: why are our tax dollars going to Washington to fund PBS, while they select "conservatives" to represent us who hate the politicians we support, and blithely sit around with liberals at pricey restaurants like Le Cirque and complain that those hicks from Texas and Alaska aren’t reading enough Niebuhr? Are we going to go to the polls to elect a commander in chief, or a senior fellow in Niebuhr studies?

A week-and-half before he'll moderate the third and final presidential debate, CBS's Bob Schieffer opened Sunday's Face the Nation by calling a foul on one team as he took sides and denounced Sarah Palin's daring to say, that “our opponent is someone who sees America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists who targeted their own country,” as a sign of “a campaign that's turned down and dirty,” as well as “nasty,” thanks to John McCain's “new attack dog” who “took after Barack Obama in a style reminiscent of Spiro Agnew when he was Richard Nixon's running mate.” In the Washington press corps, a comparison to Agnew is no compliment.

Later in the program, he fretted to New York Times columnist David Brooks: “Do you think it's going to get nastier and nastier? It does look as if McCain is really going on the attack. You saw what Sarah Palin said.” Brooks, whom Schieffer labeled as a “conservative columnist,” assured Schieffer it would be an ineffective tactic since “Republicans have been using this attack -- too dangerous, too liberal” for “too long” and “you can't win that way anymore.”

Sunday night, ABC reporter David Wright described Palin's reference to Bill Ayers as “incendiary” as he asserted on World News: “Today, in San Francisco, Sarah Palin defended her incendiary comments that Barack Obama has been 'palling around' with terrorists.” Earlier in the day, ABC's This Week host George Stephanopoulos had scolded guest Tim Pawlenty about Palin's charge: “When Governor Palin says of Obama 'this is not a man who sees America as you do,' it sure does sound like she is questioning Senator Obama's patriotism.”

A few days ago, columnist Kathleen Parker outraged many conservatives with a column suggesting Sarah Palin should resign her vice-presidential nomination because she's clearly out of her league: "If BS were currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself." Parker's outraged that someone would suggest she's not conservative.

New York Times columnist David Brooks is supposed to be the house conservative of PBS’s NewsHour and convention coverage, but he dripped contempt for conservatives from Mitt Romney to Rush Limbaugh on Wednesday’s night live coverage. He decried Romney’s speech as extreme "He drifted so far right, I’m sort of, my mind is boggling." But he said the rhetoric wasn’t genuine, just a "strategic choice" in case McCain loses.

The gloves came off and the punching of Republican vice-presidential pick Sarah Palin began early in the night on PBS. Just after the Pledge of Allegiance, the analyst team of Mark Shields and David Brooks got into a squabble over Sarah Palin's pregnant daughter Bristol. Shields insisted a callous Gov.

What pundit uttered the following liberal canard that makes it sound like Republicans don't care about poor people?

"He's [John McCain] a conservative. The way he breaks out of it, though, electorally, is to be Teddy Roosevelt, and this is gonna be the toughest thing for his campaign. He's got a group of people around him, and frankly a group, a party that doesn't want the government to do anything to help poor people. And he has to break out of that."

Was it?

A.) Chris Matthews, MSNBC

B.) Geraldo Rivera, Fox News

C.) Eleanor Clift, Newsweek

D.) David Brooks, New York Times

Update | 3-26: I wasn't the only one to be impressed by Brooks' column. This morning he was accorded the honor, rare for a Republican pundit, of a solo Today show apperance, and followed it up with a Morning Joe visit.

Sometimes you read something so simultaneously insightful and eloquent that you just have to share it with others. That's how I feel about David Brooks' column in today's New York Times, The Long Defeat.

Brooks begins by convincingly making the case that Hillary's chances of winning the Dem nomination have dwindled to a paltry 5%.

Yet all signs point to her soldiering on to the bitter end. As Brooks puts it: "Hillary Clinton’s presidential prospects continue to dim. The door is closing. Night is coming. The end, however, is not near." By protracting the fight, Clinton would seriously harm Barack Obama's general election prospects. Brooks asks: "why does she go on like this?" and gives this, in my opinion brilliant, answer:

In his "Final Word" at the end of Sunday’s Face the Nation on CBS, host Bob Schieffer made the cliched charge:

Candidates now race to tell us what we want to hear. They load us down with spin, tiptoe around controversial issues, and give us tortured explanations of how a change in their position really wasn't a change at all.

This pandering to popular public sentiment toward politicians was brought on by Schieffer quoting a November 20 Op/Ed piece by "New York Times" commentator David Brooks, who wrote of Rudy Giuliani’s recent shift to a tougher stance against illegal immigration. Schieffer took the last line of the "Times" article, where Brooks lamented how "Some day Rudy Giuliani will look back on this moment and wonder why he didn't run as himself." How dare Giuliani pander to those right-wingers who want secure borders.