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There is an interesting debate between two “R” pundits that have been Obama’s cheerleaders just in time for the busiest day in corruption

In one corner, David-love-his perfectly creased -pants Brooks, in the other Andrew-how dare the bitches-run-against-Obama Sullivan.

In his New York Times column, Brooks decries the “demise of the center” which he was just hoping was over

The center has been losing political power pretty much my entire career. But I confess that about 16 months ago I had some hope of a revival. The culture war, which had bitterly divided the country for decades, was winding down. The war war — the fight over Iraq and national security — was also waning.

(was it? so what happened?)

Anyway, his hopes for the future of the “center” were based on what else? Jr.jr:

The country had just elected a man who vowed to move past the old polarities, who valued discussion and who clearly had some sympathy with both the Burkean and Hamiltonian impulses. He staffed his administration with brilliant pragmatists whose views overlapped with mine, who differed only in that they have more faith in technocratic planning.

And then, things went wrong, but not Obama’s fault or Brooks mistake. It was just…. well…history’s fault

What happened?

History happened. The administration came into power at a time of economic crisis. This led it, in the first bloom of self-confidence, to attempt many big projects all at once. Each of these projects may have been defensible in isolation, but in combination they created the impression of a federal onslaught.

And the damn history dragged the perfect Obama with it and made him unloveable to Brooks

During periods of government war, the Democratic Party also reverts to its vestigial self. Democrats don’t want to defend big government, so instead they lash out at business. Over the past weeks, President Obama has upped his attacks on Big Oil, Wall Street and “powerful interests,” sounding like an orthodox Reagan-era Democrat.

Oh, David, David David! I thought you knew a thing or two about empty rhetoric.

Oh, well, I guess it was history’s fault Brooks had to chose sides.

Not necessarily so! Says the other former Bushie turned B0bot, woman hater extraordinaire Andrew Sullivan

He of course agrees with his fellow ex-Bushie about “History happening’

I find myself in agreement with David Brooks’ column this morning on how – unwittingly – the Obama administration was forced into the kind of big government action required to cope with several huge crises, after years of negligence and drift. I can see how easy it was for the FNC-RNC to wheel out their exhausted tropes of anti-government rhetoric and for Paul Krugman, say, to wheel out his own pro-government radicalism.

but finds it within himself to forgive Obama for appearing to be a Democrat. After all, Sullivan, a bit sharper than Brooks, sees the kabuki of it all

The truth is: Obama has not caved to the left’s understanding of the role of government. In reality, the healthcare reform was a moderate enterprise, made radical in the public consciousness by a cynical bid to propagandize the whole debate by the FNC-RNC axis. Same with the handling of the banks, the financial regulation bill, the stimulus, and the recalibration of US foreign policy after the failed belligerence of the Bush-Cheney years.

OK, I said he was sharper than Brooks, not sharp. If he sees a “recalibration from Bush-Cheney” he is as literal about rhetoric as brooks is. But he still defends Obama and proof he is still one of them (“centrists”):

If David doubts the moderation of Obama, he might ask his colleague, Paul Krugman, or read more Glenn Greenwald.

His reassurances remind me of Rush Limbaugh reassuring his audience in 2000 that Bush’s talk of “compassionate conservatism” is nothing to worry about. “He can call himself brie cheese, he is our boy, he only says this things to appeal to a larger audience to get elected”.

Of course, in order for the simile to have worked perfectly, we would have had Glenn Greenwald reassuring his readers that all the Reagan rhetoric from Obama means nothing, and he is one of us.

But these days, all the posturing and positioning skews right no matter what. Which is why we have two “R”s discussing their love of a so called “D” POTUS.

Not Your Sweetie

May 2020