Does David Brooks Know Better? I Suspect Not (Ezra Klein Reads David Brooks so We Don't Have to Edition)
Ezra Klein watches David Brooks engage in intellectual capital destruction:
Is Barack Obama a National Greatness/Hamiltonian?: [I]n his column today, David Brooks laid out the policy platform for his imagined nominee from the Hamiltonian/National Greatness Party.... We need this, Brooks says, because the Republican agenda is “stupefyingly boring, fiscally irresponsible and politically impossible” while the Democrats “offer practically nothing.” But read closely, isn’t [Brooks's agenda] just the Obama agenda? The Affordable Care Act cut spending on Medicare and raised taxes on wealthy Medicare beneficiaries in order to redistribute that money toward the young and the sick. It put growth constraints on Medicare’s future spending and on the tax break for employer-provided health care to free money up for other uses. It attempted basically everything anyone could think of to figure out how to define, track and pay for quality.... [E]very single items in Brooks’s “targeted working-class basket” is also on Obama’s agenda.... Now, I would argue that a lot of these proposals are underpowered.... [But] it’s hard to believe the Obama administration wouldn’t like to go bigger on most of these ideas. But then Brooks goes further and says that Democrats “acknowledge huge problems like wage stagnation and then offer... light rail! Solar panels!”
Come now. He knows better.
Put me down as a skeptic. I am not at all sure that Brooks knows better.
I do know that the New York Times would better serve its readers if it left the space it currently devotes to David Brooks blank. He just says too many things that simply ain't so--from this example back to his claim that you couldn't spend more than $20 on dinner in Franklin County, Pennsylvania.
Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?