Sunday, March 08, 2009

Quote of the Day: David Brooks on Rush Limbaugh and the GOP

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Don't get me wrong, there's a lot not to like about David Brooks, including his facile sociological commentary (praise be to the exurbs, to Patio Man and Realtor Mom) and his various and ever-so-convenient about-turns over the years (shifting with the CW, suiting his views to the audience, etc.), but, compared to the wackos who currently head up the GOP and the conservative movement -- Limbaugh, Steele, McConnell, Boehner, Malkin, Coulter, etc. -- he's a model of good sense and decency. Here he is, or was, on ABC's This Week this morning:

The problem with them and the problem with Limbaugh in terms of intellectual philosophy is they are stuck with Reagan. They are stuck with the idea that government is always the problem. A lot of Republicans up in Capitol Hill right now are calling for a spending freeze in a middle of a recession/depression. That is insane. But they are thinking the way they thought in 1982, if we can only think that way again, that is just insane.

Insane. Now, sure, you know, it's a bit like the kettle and the pot, but Brooks is certainly right that insanity reigns on the right, including among Republicans on Capitol Hill. It was the Boehner, after all, the party's head honcho in the House, who has called for a "freeze on government spending" at a time of historic economic crisis, not exactly the most sensible policy to pursue when economic stimulation is what is so desperately needed.

Brooks, of course, can afford to criticize Dear Leader Rush and his minions. He has his prominent platform at the Times and, with a reputation and celebrity status in the punditocracy that places him beyond their reach, doesn't need to kowtow before them -- or, like Steele, crawl back to them and beg forgiveness for having transgressed. Still, what this means is that, from time to time, he can actually speak the truth about the current state of the right from within, that is, he can actually be honest about Rush Republicanism. This was one of those times, and, much to his credit, he spoke with admirable candor -- criticizing not just Rush but Reagan.

Watch it here:

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