Dennis Terzola

The “Cooked Frog” Journalism of David Brooks

2010 April 28

President Obama feasts on all kinds of cooked frogs.

David Brooks’ recent New York Times article (“The Government War”, April 22, 2010) illustrates the muddled brain by which many so-called centrists, independents, and other “middle-of-the-roaders” seem to operate. In Brooks’ case, he refers to himself as a self-styled “Progressive Conservative” (“. . . I try to give voice to a philosophy you might call progressive conservatism.”), and represents his latest political transmogrification which he rather cavalierly acknowledges as “silly”:

This general philosophy puts me to the left of where the Republican Party is now, and to the right of the Democratic Party. It puts me in that silly spot on the political map, the center, or a step to the right of it.

If his “silly spot” proceeds from his palpitating “philosophy”, then is it any wonder why his brain produces a new oxymoronic sunburst that he speaks of as “progressive conservatism”?

Lest anyone misunderstand Brooks’ true political posture underlying his alleged “new” conservatism, he goes on to say

The center has been losing political power pretty much my entire career. But I must confess that about 16 months ago I had some hope of revival . . . . The country had just elected a man who vowed to move past the old polarities, who valued discussion and who clearly had some sympathy with both the Burkean and Hamiltonian impulses. He staffed his administration with brilliant pragmatists whose views overlapped with mine, who differed only in that they have more faith in technocratic planning.

Ahem. Let’s see. read more…

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