Sometimes people ask me why I don't like David Brooks' columns. "He seems like a reasonable Republican," they tell me. Aside from his, shall we say, revisionist take on his own opinions once they're found to be wrong/stupid/unpopular, my problem with Brooks is that he's an active moving part of the conservative media machine, of Clinton's "vast right wing conspiracy": I firmly believe that virtually every column he writes is in the service of the Republican agenda, and written specifically to further the needs of the national Republican party. Timothy Noah once referred to him as "the right's ambassador to the liberal establishment," and I think that's a pretty good characterization. I don't like Brooks because his bias is the most insidious kind.
Take this week's column, for example. Reading it in a bubble, it sounds like Brooks really is my kind of conservative. He actually cares about the plight of working class people losing their jobs, and has even thought about it enough to speak somewhat intelligently about the reasons why their jobs are disappearing! And good on him for taking a presidential candidate to account for relying on the same old boogeymen instead of talking about root causes!
But wait, I then think to myself, it's a funny coincidence that the Republicans have decided that they'd rather run against Clinton than Obama, and that the longer it takes for Obama to put the race away, the better the chances for McCain in November. And wow, Brooks has become an advocate of the workin' man just in time to write a strikingly venomous column against Obama (and he even references the "bitter" controversy)... one week before the Pennsylvania primary, the biggest one left! And it is just damn coincidental that Pennsylvania is filled to the brim with laid off industrial workers! And how about that: that's exactly the group Clinton and Obama are fighting over in this last week! And come to think of it, the Clinton campaign and the Republicans in tandem have been focusing their message on the charge of "elitism" (i.e., anti-working class) against Obama for about a week now!