Though many of my liberal friends writing blogs or contributing to the discussions on them simply cannot brook Brooks, I often find him precisely the sort of conservative I wish outnumbered the other sort who are far too prevalent whether in journalism, in office or in the various corners of the movement. He’s thoughtful, he ususally can see past his ideological prferences, and he takes care in his speech and in his research to try and get things right – that is, to perceive the world as it is. He has intellectual humility and empathy, the two qualities which it seems to me are all I can ask of another and which, when absent, immediately place that person in the category of people I will be most pleased to see ascend at the End of Days.
That Brooks finds himself morally and intellectually obliged to publicly derogate people such as Rush Limbaugh ought to be clue enough for the liberal friends I mention above, but it hasn’t been. The urge to easy simplisms and dichotomies finds a home on both sides.
The Democratic response to the economic crisis has its problems, but let’s face it, the current Republican response is totally misguided. The House minority leader, John Boehner, has called for a federal spending freeze for the rest of the year. In other words, after a decade of profligacy, the Republicans have decided to demand a rigid fiscal straitjacket at the one moment in the past 70 years when it is completely inappropriate.
The G.O.P. leaders have adopted a posture that allows the Democrats to make all the proposals while all the Republicans can say is “no.” They’ve apparently decided that it’s easier to repeat the familiar talking points than actually think through a response to the extraordinary crisis at hand.
If the Republicans wanted to do the country some good, they’d embrace an entirely different approach.
Update: Steve Benen goes deeper than I here