September 29, 2012

OUT OF THE COOL: David Brooks channels Mauren Dowd. Dowd has long championed Obama as the cool and aloof “President Spock”*; Brooks, brought in to the Times’ token conservative, instead tells his fellow Obama supporters on PBS’s NewsHour yesterday that all Obama has to be do in the Middle East is “just be calm:”

“So, Obama, I think his task is reasonably clear — just be calm, stay calm, whatever that British slogan [is that] we’re all repeating now, ‘stay calm and in control,’ whatever it is,” Brooks said. “And so he just has to be calm.  And somebody made a good point today. He had a pretty bad week in the Middle East, or a pretty bad two weeks in the Middle East, but he reacted with calmness. And so he sort of gets a pass on really what is sort of a chaotic administration policy.  Romney is the one with the burden. … He has to say, listen, I haven’t been a great candidate, but if you elect me, there are four organizations I’m going to fix. I am going to fix the tax code.”

 Or as Brooks admitted last year around this time in a rare moment of candor, “I’m a sap, a specific kind of sap. I’m an Obama Sap.”

* Though as any real Star Trek fan can tell you, there’s a reason why every episode that Spock was in command nearly ended in disaster, and his fellow officers longed for Capt. Kirk’s return to the bridge to restore normalcy.

UPDATE: “The future must not belong to those who blaspheme the first officer of the Enterprise,” an Insta-reader warns:

What? Spock a bad captain? Not at all! He was trying to lead the Enterprise out of danger during “The Doomsday Machine”. He would have, if Commodore Decker had not interfered. In “The Tholian Web,” Spock successfully overcame resistance from the crew, rescued the ship and saved Kirk. While in command of a shuttlecraft crew in “Galileo 7,” Spock again saved everyone from certain death. In “The Paradise Syndrome,” Spock deflected an asteroid strike and rescued Kirk who had lost his memory.

Spock is logical, empirical and dutiful. To compare him to Obama is grossly unfair.

Heh. I didn’t say he was a bad officer at all — just noting the frustration he could cause his human crewmembers. (And riffing off a video Bill Whittle made on the topic for PJTV back in 2009.)