David Brooks: “I’m an Obama sap.”
Well, we knew that, David — but do you have anything new to tell us?
As it turns out, yes. Brooks would like to tell us it isn’t his fault he’s a rube. It’s not Bush’s fault (I don’t think). It’s not even Obama’s fault. It’s — wait for it, because this is really clever stuff here — it’s Washington’s fault! Oh, yes, it is. Behold the excuse-mongering:
Yes, I’m a sap. I believed Obama when he said he wanted to move beyond the stale ideological debates that have paralyzed this country. I always believe that Obama is on the verge of breaking out of the conventional categories and embracing one of the many bipartisan reform packages that are floating around.
But remember, I’m a sap. The White House has clearly decided that in a town of intransigent Republicans and mean ideologues, it has to be mean and intransigent too. The president was stung by the liberal charge that he was outmaneuvered during the debt-ceiling fight. So the White House has moved away from the Reasonable Man approach or the centrist Clinton approach. [Emphasis added, buy why?]
Barack Obama lost the nice crease in his trousers, only because our nation’s capital is full of wrinkly, mean old men. It’s not the President’s fault. And so it certainly isn’t Brooks’s fault for being a sap — because deep inside, far below the cut of his jib, Obama hasn’t changed of whit. He’s still the pragmatic technocratic centrist he always campaigned as.
Shorter Brooks: “Please just love me like I love you, Barack. I forgive you — come back!”
This is an unseemly column, where Brooks attempts to prove he’s not really sap, by declaring his unending sapitude. But the truth is, “Obamaism” was never anything more than a campaign ploy to earn the trust of people like Brooks and Peggy Noonan and Chris Buckley and countless others who should have known better.
Noonan has manned up. Buckley has too, sort of. Brooks, however, still sounds like a Shirelles song every time his man comes around. He’d sound more manly if he’d change his tune to that of a woman scorned.