But today Brooks let his frustration show, and the mask slipped just a bit. The object of his ire? The Republican party, who are too psychotic to know a good deal when they see one. Literally:
The Democrats have agreed to tie budget cuts to the debt ceiling bill. They have agreed not to raise tax rates. They have agreed to a roughly 3-to-1 rate of spending cuts to revenue increases, an astonishing concession.
If the Republican Party were a normal party, it would take advantage of this amazing moment. It is being offered the deal of the century: trillions of dollars in spending cuts in exchange for a few hundred million dollars of revenue increases.
Sounds great! Although, apparently, this deal exists only in David Brook's imagination. No leak has pointed to such a plan, no utterance by Obama (unless "corporate jets" is a code word for "conditional surrender") has evidenced such, nor has Clueless Joe, allegedly the leader of these negotiations, referred to a capitulation such as Brooks claims exists.
Brooks then uses this fantasy financial package for his real goal - to impunge the state of mind of the Republican party, and about 35-55% of the nation, by my count. After using the "if they were a normal party" trope as seen above a few times, Brooks explains why the party will just say no to his imaginary "deal":
That’s because the Republican Party may no longer be a normal party. Over the past few years, it has been infected by a faction that is more of a psychological protest than a practical, governing alternative.
So who's crazy? We are! That is, any and all Americans who are concerned about the deficit and are taxed to death as it is, be they run-of-the-mill Republicans, worried Independents, or Brooks's Bane - the highly involved Tea Partier
Brook's Bane, indeed. For it is the Tea Party that is holding the Republican party to its word, and preventing the backroom deal-making that Washington insiders like Brooks love, with the false sense of security and compromise created by signing a deal that will push doomsday 15 minutes further down the road, while allowing politicians to congratulate themselves for their hard work while scoring a few quick bucks in the interim.
Brooks goes off on the Tea Party, never calling them by name but insulting them gratuitously nevertheless. I'll repeat his smears, then debunk them ASAP:
The members of this movement do not accept the logic of compromise, no matter how sweet the terms. If you ask them to raise taxes by an inch in order to cut government by a foot, they will say no. If you ask them to raise taxes by an inch to cut government by a yard, they will still say no.
Because revenues are not the problem. $2 trillion plus dollars a year is more than enough to perform the functions of government. If it is not up to the task, then the government must be cut. No extra amount of taxes will satisfy the beast, if $2T cannot cut the mustard....
The members of this movement do not accept the legitimacy of scholars and intellectual authorities.
Two names for you, pal: Barack Obama. Al Gore. Both, we were told, were our intellectual superiors. Both, we've seen, are woefully inadequate to even compete in their claimed field of expertise.
And why do I get the vibe that you are placing yourself in the "intellectual authority" category as well? Would explain where the spite is coming from, at least....
The members of this movement have no sense of moral decency. A nation makes a sacred pledge to pay the money back when it borrows money. But the members of this movement talk blandly of default and are willing to stain their nation’s honor.
Wow. Apparently, the side who would tax us into poverty while claiming the constitution allows them to ignore the debt limit is apparently the moral one. To quote Paul Krugman, I'd call that "the conscience of a liberal". Incidentally, if you wonder what Brook's moral inversion would sound like if applied to foreign affairs, just look at Obama's treatment of the two sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Got it?
The members of this movement have no economic theory worthy of the name.
We do, but it's too simple for Brooks to comprehend: The less interference in the private sector by the government, the healthier the economy. Every dollar lifted via taxes is a job burned, every regulation imposed is a job destroyed, every "program" created to help winds up (deliberately) eliminating private-sector competition and providing a far worse level of service.
Worship me, you blathering Tea Party idiots, for I am the voice of truth! Well...the truth of a conventional Washington insider, who repeats platitudes verbatim that I hear in Georgetown salons....but I am still your superior, damn it!
Brooks finishes by claiming a failure to raise the debt ceiling by raising taxes, or any type of government shutdown, will rightfully be blamed on the Republicans, and would be an indication they are unfit to govern.
Leading to, I suppose, the re-election of Barack Obama, the reinstatement of reckless runaway spending, and an eventual Greek coda.
But that is what our consummate insider wants. Brooks is just too much of a coward to say so, and to denounce the Tea Party by name.
I suppose he's got his own job to worry about. After all, the Times already has numerous hardcore lefties on board, should he come out of the closet as "one of them", he'd be celebrated....then replaced by the new "conservative" token du jour.
Think Katleen Parker....