Tuesday, June 08, 2004

David Brooks--Deliberate Misleader or Just Not Smart?

He's at it again. My favorite conservative pseudo-intellectual has once again proved his mettle. In the June 8 NYT, Brooksie offers this:

"Now Democrats often accuse Republicans of recklessness and utopianism while Republicans accuse Democrats of being the timorous defenders of the status quo. Democrats are more likely to emphasize fiscal prudence, foreign policy caution and economic security."

Somehow or other, our Mr. Brooks manages to see Republicans and Neocons as progressive while casting Democrats as timorous for opposing half-trillion dollar deficits. This kind of thinking is much like a sleight of hand trick in which the magician drops the cards all over the stage. Who else equates passing trillions of dollars of debt on to later generations as "progress"? Who? And for crying out loud, let's have no more of this digusting "fiscal prudence"! If you find out that your congressman or senator is guilty of "fiscal prudence", be absolutely sure to vote him or her out of office right away.

If Brooks equates alienating the entire developed world because of heavy-handed, unilateral, and insulting foreign policy, then I guess he has a point about Democrats preferring "foreign policy caution". Or perhaps he means that opposing a pre-emptive war of invasion based upon faulty intelligence (both from the CIA and the apparent lack of brains in the White House) and non-existent WMDs is just too cautious. Hell, let's throw "foreign policy caution" to the wind and invade three or four more countries just to prove we're "progressive".

I must agree, however, that George W. Bush and his policies are indeed about economic security--primarily for the super-rich and Halliburton. While insisting that we focus on the creation of nearly as many jobs as were lost, we are told to pay no attention to vanishing pensions, skyrocketing drug costs, and diminishing standards of living for millions of citizens. I think anyone who is paying any attention at all knows exactly WHOSE economic security is important to the President.

Utopianism? If what we have done to Iraq is an attempt at "Utopianism" I shudder to think what we might have wrought had our goals been less lofty.

A better characterization of the differences between Republicans and Democrats in 2004 might go like this...

"Republicans now preach a brand of 'conservatism' that seeks to legislate strict morality--especially where sex is concerned, promote fundamentalist christianity, 'starve the beast' by depleting the national treasury and creating huge deficits, and carefully nurture subconscious fears and prejudices to keep America bitterly divided. Democrats, though somewhat lost and indecisive, just seem to want to return to the 'good old days' of a balanced budget, environmental protection, women's rights, privacy, and less government intrusion into personal moral choices."

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