Monday, March 8, 2010

Brooks is Done

"The Wal-Mart Hippies"? Is David Brooks for real? Besides using his column to toss yet another insult the way of movement conservatives, does he actually believe that the Tea Party membership has anything of substance in common with the Left. Apparently, in his zeal to express regularly his distaste for the re-energized Right, he is now willing to reach so far to make a sneering point that he strains not only credibility, but brings his judgment into question as well.

The Left, new or old, always understands itself as radical, as in attacking the root, starting over, year zero, etc. The Tea Party membership, by contrast, sees itself as reformers, as in calling for a return to form. In this case, a return to the form described and prescribed in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. What these two groups currently share, and frankly, the only thing they share, is zeal, if not outright anger. But even all anger is not the same. There is the anger of the adolescent temper tantrum, and there is the anger of righteous indignation. Can you guess which typifies which? Who wanted to blow up buildings and watch things "burn, baby, burn!"? But still, they are both made of the same stuff? Please.

Although I only know Brooks in the flesh, so to speak, from TV, he seems like a pleasant enough guy. But I must admit that I haven't seen him very much lately, at least not since I stopped watching PBS's NewsHour. (Is that show still on?) On Friday evenings, he offered political commentary by playing the role of the Right Winger to Mark Shields' Left. I couldn't stand it for long, however, as Brooks spent most of his allotted time agreeing with Shields. But, to be fair, he did replace David Gergen in that role, and Gergen had established it as that of a Right Wing poseur who spends the lion's share of his air time agreeing with Shields as well. No, wait! Didn't Paul Gigot play that role in between Gergen and Brooks? That's right! But he didn't last very long, did he? He was a real conservative and I guess PBS only wanted an actor.

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