Friday, January 18, 2013

Now its David Brooks' turn to feel the ruthlessness

Over the last couple of weeks, we've watched the "ruthless" part of conciliatory rhetoric as ruthless strategy dawn on people like Charles Krauthammer and Michael Gerson. Now its David Brooks' turn. He has a new name for it..."Kill the Wounded."
It’s more likely that today’s majority party is going to adopt a different strategy, which you might call Kill the Wounded. It’s more likely that today’s Democrats are going to tell themselves something like this:

“We live at a unique moment. Our opponents, the Republicans, are divided, confused and bleeding. This is not the time to allow them to rebuild their reputation with a series of modest accomplishments. This is the time to kick them when they are down, to win back the House and end the current version of the Republican Party.

“First, we change the narrative. The president ran in 2008 against Washington dysfunction, casting blame on both parties. Over the years, he has migrated to a different narrative: The Republicans are crazy. Washington could be working fine, but the Republicans are crazy...

“Then, wedge issues. The president should propose no new measures that might unite Republicans, the way health care did in the first term. Instead, he should raise a series of wedge issues meant to divide Southerners from Midwesterners, the Tea Party/Talk Radio base from the less ideological corporate and managerial class...

“Then he could invite a series of confrontations with Republicans over things like the debt ceiling — make them look like wackos willing to endanger the entire global economy. Along the way, he could highlight women’s issues, social mobility issues (student loans, community college funding) and pick fights on compassion issues, (hurricane relief) — promoting any small, popular spending programs that Republicans will oppose.
If you're not laughing your ass off by now, you clearly haven't been paying attention (or more likely - you're a Republican that bought into teh crazy).

First of all, its high time someone like Brooks admitted that the faction of the Republican Party that is getting "killed" these days IS CRAZY. For the good of the country, someone needs to kill it. And if the Republicans aren't willing to do that - Democrats have an obligation to help that along.

Secondly..."wedge issues." Oh my. Is Brooks really implying that it would be a good idea for the President to introduce something that "might unite the Republicans, the way health care did?" This is truly Orwellian logic, isn't it? The idea is that the President should be more partisan because it would unite his opposition. Those damn wedge issues are just WAY too post-partisan and pragmatic. Gosh darn-it - they split the sane Republicans from teh crazy. How ruthless is that?!

Finally, one might ask Brooks a simple question: Who is it that invited the crazy idea of a confrontation over the debt ceiling? It certainly wasn't President Obama.

But gosh darn him again...the President is really rubbing it in when he goes to bat for women and the low/middle class and hurricane relief. How dare he?

For four years now, President Obama has stood up for sanity as teh crazy went nuts. The right thought they were winning and many on the left called him naive for not getting crazy back. No matter how hard either side egged him on - the man maintained his pragmatism.

Now the ruthless side of that strategy is leaving folks like Brooks dissembling before our very eyes.

Please excuse me while I enjoy the moment.


  1. Poor David. It's always hard to wake up one morning and realize that the "weak" and "clueless" President you've been portraying is actually ... smarter than you and a cold-blooded pragmatist who is several steps ahead of you. And the Republicans.

    1. Poor David indeed.

      Its high time he let teh crazy die.

  2. Overall, I find David Brooks to be worth paying attention to. However, this smackdown is deserved. Brooks, to his credit, has often named the crazies. But they and the rest of the Republican party must now reap what they have sown. It is not President Obama's job to rescue them. He offered opportunities for safety many times already.

  3. I must be having some reading comprehension problems here because it looks to me like Brooks is outlining exactly the way to break the Republicans. Sure, he's having to realize that this was the President's plan all along, but to my reading, he seems to be telling Republicans, "Look, this is what is happening now, take note." I don't see him trying to make the President change his strategy at all. What am I missing?

    1. I suppose that if Republicans were smart, they'd read Brooks that way.

      But I read this one as "Democrats/Obama are being mean to Republicans...wah, wah, wah. Our demise is all their fault."

      In a way, that's partly true.

    2. I read Chait's piece on this topic and now I get what you mean. Poor Brooks. Cognitive Dissonance must just hurt.

  4. You know, if people had read places like here or The People's View, they'd realize that we've been saying this for a few years. It was so bloody obvious. (I'm referring specifically to our brethren on the Left who poop their pants every time Obama "caves".)

    1. Yep, I totally agree - and said so last night when I wrote about Republicans being "hoist on their own petard."


      It's deserved. It's different one for Davey and the teabillies.

      We tried to tell 'em. They didn't want to listen. The hard headed always got to feel it to believe it.


  5. Does David, Charles and other envision President Obama with a beard demanding the GOP to kneel like he was Zod......

    Well, I kinda do, makes me happy

    David sounds deflated & defeated, just like Charlie Krauthammer

    I'd feel sorry for them, but I dont, they didnt try and stop the crazy, now they must deal with being made irrelevant


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