Day By Day

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Another Frustrating Column from David Brooks

David Brooks is a bright guy. Sometimes, especially when the subject is Obama, he can seem terminally silly and naive, but occasionally he writes something that suggests that he is not beyond all hope.

Yesterday was one of those times. He wrote:

Americans in recent decades have seen the development of

a political system that undermined the relationship between effort and reward. People in Washington spent money they didn’t have. They just borrowed it from the Chinese. People in Washington taxed those with responsible homes to bail out people who’d bought homes they couldn’t afford.

People in Congress were caught up in a spoils system in which money was taken from those who worked and given to those with connections. Money was taken from those who produced and used to bail out the reckless, who were supposedly too big to fail.

This was an affront to the core values of [middle-class Americans].

That hits the nail right on the head. Unfortunately Brooks then lapses into a discussion of free-labor ideology [a la Eric Foner] and the argument that middle-class Americans have not stood up for their values and have therefore ceded the political culture to extremists.

That's Brooks again -- saying something sensible, then mixing it with questionable and often silly analysis. Sometimes I despair of him, but then sometimes I begin to hope that he will get it.

Read the column here.

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