Sunday, September 04, 2005

[Chattering Class]

Brooks Gets it Mostly Right

David Brooks is the most compromised editorialist in the country. A man whose claim to fame is "reasonable" moderation, Brooks landed a post at the Times just when his party went into unreasonable extremism. For the past few years, we've watched the unsightly spectacle of Brooks swinging from outrage at his party to water-carrying for the GOP and administration. Well, for Brooks anyway, looks like the party may be over:

And the key fact to understanding why this is such a huge cultural moment is this: Last week's national humiliation comes at the end of a string of confidence-shaking institutional failures that have cumulatively changed the nation's psyche.

Over the past few years, we have seen intelligence failures in the inability to prevent Sept. 11 and find W.M.D.'s in Iraq. We have seen incompetent postwar planning. We have seen the collapse of Enron and corruption scandals on Wall Street. We have seen scandals at our leading magazines and newspapers, steroids in baseball, the horror of Abu Ghraib.

Dave isn't quite ready to admit thta the government he criticizes is the government he has done so much to promote. He proffers, like Andy Sullivan, Rudy Giulliani as a future for the GOP. But, as he points out, "people are mad as hell, unwilling to take it anymore." Rudy is just another suit with a W button on his lapel. When the revolution happens, all the bums get run out of town.

Brooks is right: this is a cultural and political watershed. And the GOP are going to pay the price.

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